Right-hander Kyle Lohse tries to follow up a terrific season debut tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Cincinnati Reds in the second of three games at Great American Ball Park.
Lohse carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning his first start on April 4 against Miami and picked up a victory, allowing just two hits and a run in 7 1/3 innings.
Lohse, a 33-year-old native of Chico, Calif., made 33 appearances with the Reds in 2006-07 between stints with the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies.
In eight starts against the Reds he is 2-3 with a 4.14 earned run average with 32 strikeouts and 21 earned runs in 45 2/3 innings.
St. Louis exploded early in Monday's opener and rode three first-inning home runs to a 7-1 victory.
With two outs, Matt Holliday began the onslaught by pulling Homer Bailey's slider into the left-center-field seats. After Lance Berkman walked, David Freese and Yadier Molina went back-to-back, as Freese launched a fastball out to the opposite field before Molina blasted the first offering from Bailey 413 feet to dead center field.
Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook (1-0) walked four of the first seven batters but then settled down and did not issue a free pass thereafter, eventually tossing seven frames while allowing just one unearned run on three hits.
Bailey (0-1) took the loss after giving up four runs on six hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five.
Brandon Phillips scored the Reds lone run from first on an infield hit by Zack Cozart in the fifth after an errant throw from Westbrook sailed into right field. However, Phillips immediately left the game for what the team called precautionary reasons upon suffering a cramp in his left hamstring.
Tonight, Cincinnati gives the ball to third-year righty Mike Leake, who'll face the Cardinals for the fourth time in his 54th big-league appearance.
Leake was 8-4 in 24 games as a rookie in 2010, then improved to 12-9 in 29 games and 167 2/3 innings last season.
He's split two decisions in three games against St. Louis while allowing 15 hits and nine runs in 10 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and a 6.97 ERA.
Cincinnati was 9-6 against the Cards last season.