The Cincinnati Reds try to extend their lead in the National League Central on Sunday when they play the rubber match of a three- game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati bounced back from a loss in Friday's opener on Saturday, as Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips both homered, Mike Leake pitched into the seventh inning and the Reds cruised to an 8-2 win.
Bruce hit a two-run blast in the sixth, while Phillips finished 3-for-5 with a solo homer, two RBI and two runs scored. Scott Rolen drove in a pair for the Reds, who re-established a seven-game lead over the Cardinals in the division.
Leake (6-8) allowed two runs on 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings in the win. He struck out three and did not issue a walk.
"Five and seven (games) is a big difference," said Leake. "We just need to come out here again tomorrow and try to do the same thing."
Tony Cruz went 2-for-4 and scored both runs for the Cardinals, who had their four-game winning streak stopped.
Jaime Garcia (3-5) took the loss in his second start since returning from the disabled list. The lefty was charged with four runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts in six innings.
Getting the call for the Reds in the finale will be righty Homer Bailey, who is 10-8 with a 4.11 ERA. Bailey did not get a decision on Tuesday in Philadelphia, but pitched well, surrendering just two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-4 win.
Bailey topped the Reds back on July 15 and is 3-6 in 11 starts against them with a 5.09 ERA.
St. Louis, meanwhile, will counter with righty Adam Wainwright, who has won his last four starts. Wainwright picked up his fifth straight winning decision on Tuesday when he struck out 12 Houston Astros in a five-hit shutout to run his record to 12-10 on the year to go along with a 3.65 ERA.
He hasn't given up more than two earned runs in a start since July 13 - a span of seven starts - and sports a 1.16 ERA over his last four starts.
Wainwright has lost to the Reds twice already this season and is just 3-6 lifetime against them with a 4.39 ERA in 15 games (10 starts).
The Reds are 6-5 against the Cardinals this season.