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Cardinals send Lohse against Reds

St. Louis right-hander Kyle Lohse faces his former team - the Cincinnati Reds - for the 11th time in his career today when the Cardinals visit Great American Ball Park for the middle portion of a three-game weekend series.

The Reds won the opener Friday night when Ryan Hanigan's go-ahead RBI infield single highlighted a three-run bottom of the seventh inning in a 5-3 win.

Brandon Phillips registered his sixth three-hit game of the year and scored twice for the Reds, who have won four straight.

Todd Frazier belted a solo homer and scored twice.

"(Phillips') focus and his determination were keen," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's what hitting is all about and that's what playing baseball is all about."

Alfredo Simon (1-1) picked up the win after tossing two scoreless innings.

The win, coupled with Pittsburgh's loss at Milwaukee, moved the Reds into a first-place tie in the National League Central Division.

The Cardinals are in third place, 2 1/2 games behind.

Adam Wainwright (7-9) allowed four runs on five hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings for St. Louis, which had won six of its last eight.

"I didn't make many mistakes (Friday), really," Wainwright said. "I've had some tough losses this year. That's one of those head scratchers where you just don't know how that happened. I had good enough stuff to win."

Meanwhile, Lohse, who is three games over .500 in 340 major-league outings, was a dismal 9-17 for the Reds while making 33 appearances - 32 starts - in parts of 2006 and 2007.

He was traded from Minnesota to the Reds for a minor-league pitcher in July 2006, then was sent by the Reds to Philadelphia a year later for pitcher Matt Maloney.

He's been in St. Louis since signing as a free agent in March 2008 and has resurrected his career - twice reaching double-digit wins and getting to 9-2 this season in 18 starts before the All-Star break.

He reached the break with three wins and a no-decision in his last four starts while allowing just seven runs on 20 hits in 28 2/3 innings.

Lohse is 3-3 in 10 career starts against the Reds and has faced them twice in 2012, picking up a win and a no-decision while allowing eight hits and a run in 13 innings.

He faces Cincinnati righty Mike Leake, who also pitched well heading into the season's unofficial halfway point.

Leake, who began the season at 0-5, pitched at least seven innings in seven of his last nine starts while winning three times and lowering his earned run average from 6.21 to 4.01.

He was a tough-luck 4-1 loser against the Los Angeles Dodgers while allowing two earned runs in seven innings on July 4, one start after the first complete game of his career. He allowed a run on nine hits in that one and struck out four while toppling San Francisco, 5-1, on June 29.

Leake is 1-2 in four career meetings with the Cardinals.

St. Louis won two of three games in an April series in Cincinnati, then repeated the feat a week later in Missouri. The Reds won the 2011 season series, 9-6. The Cardinals won the series in 2010, 12-6.