Reds’ Hunter Greene looks to rebound vs. Cardinals

Right-hander Hunter Greene’s most recent start for the Cincinnati Reds was his most difficult of the season for a couple of reasons.

He became nauseated in the first inning Tuesday and vomited on the mound. He allowed three runs in that opening frame and six overall while completing just four innings during a 9-5 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Greene (5-3, 3.79 ERA) will try to rebound in the finale of a four-game series Sunday at Busch Stadium. The Reds won 11-4 Thursday and 9-4 on Saturday while the Cardinals won 1-0 Friday.

Becoming ill two batters into that start presented a unique challenge for Greene.

“It’s going to throw you off,” Greene said. “Mentally, you’re going to be thinking about that a little bit more than making pitches. You just try to do your best I guess in that situation, in that mindset, and focus on what you need to do. It’s not easy, but I wasn’t coming out of that game and knew I wasn’t. I had to try and make do with it.”

Prior to that loss, Greene was 5-0 with a 2.80 ERA during a span of 10 starts.

“I think Hunter has been so good for us,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He kind of needs to just put this one behind him.”

Greene did not face the Cardinals when the teams met in May. He is 1-3 with a 3.79 ERA in seven career starts against them.

While Greene is coming off his most difficult start, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn (3-3, 3.86) is coming off one of his best.

The right-hander held the Atlanta Braves to one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-2 victory Monday. He struck out five and walked nobody while earning his first victory since May 21.

“Throughout the season you are going to go through times where you throw the ball well and you’re going to have bad luck, things don’t go your way,” Lynn said after that game. “But I’ve been fine-tuning, Dusty (Blake) and the pitching coaches and I have been working on some stuff. Tonight everything finally clicked.

“Hopefully for myself, it starts things rolling where I could do some things.”

Lynn suffered a 3-1 loss to the Reds on May 27. He allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.

In his career Lynn is 12-5 with a 3.20 ERA in 23 career appearances against the Reds, including 20 starts.

Lynn will need to pay particular attention to Cincinnati leadoff hitter Jonathan India, who is one of baseball’s hottest hitters.

India extended his hitting streak to 11 games with two doubles Saturday. He hit a double for the seventh straight game, setting a Reds record, and he has multiple hits in eight straight games.

Given the fatigue level of the Cardinals bullpen, the team could use another strong outing from Lynn.

“Our guys, I’m being quite honest, are on fumes,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “We need to dig deep and figure out a way to win tomorrow, get to that off day, regroup and get back at it.”

Reds outfielder Jake Fraley recovered from his calf contusion and returned to the lineup Saturday as the designated hitter. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run in his first game since June 25.

While Cincinnati catcher Tyler Stephenson remained out on paternity leave, Austin Wynns hit three doubles, scored twice and drove in a run Saturday while filling in for him.

–Field Level Media