Astros' Oswalt owns Reds (4/28)
Hal McCoy

CINCINNATI — Roy Oswalt accompanied Houston to Cincinnati so he could make his appearance against the Reds tonight in Great American Ball Park. But why?

Oswalt could mail it in. Put a stamp on it, stay home, play golf, play with the children and play with the dog.

He likely still would beat the Reds. For his career, he is 15-0 with a 2.41 ERA in 19 starts against the Reds, best unbeaten record by a pitcher over one team in major-league history.

To make it more dire, Oswalt is 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA, and he is facing struggling Brandon Claussen (1-2, 6.76).

What buoys Reds manager Jerry Narron is that today is Beat the Ace Night. The Reds are 3-0 on Fridays, beating Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm, 2005 Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter of St. Louis and Milwaukee All-Star Ben Sheets.

The next five games in GABP can aid the Reds in achieving National League Central credibility.

First, it’s Houston for three, in a battle for first place. The 15-7 Reds are .018 points behind the 14-6 first-place Astros. Then it is two games against division favorite St. Louis, to whom the Reds already lost two of three in Busch Stadium.

“Early on it doesn’t matter, but your division, especially ours this year which is the toughest, you have to play well to win,” Narron said.

The Reds are 10-5 in the NL Central. In preparation, the Reds were 6-1 on a trip to Milwaukee (3-1) and Washington (3-0).

And they did it without Ken Griffey Jr., who comes off the disabled list and returns to the lineup tonight. And they did it with a struggling Adam Dunn, 2-for-18 with nine strikeouts before three singles Wednesday in Washington.

“I don’t think I ever had three singles in one game in my life, seriously,” Dunn said. “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

Contact this reporter at
I'm wondering how he knows KGJr will be in the lineup tonight.....