Southpaw Ross Detwiler, a former first-round draft pick, makes his fifth attempt at a first defeat of the Cincinnati Reds today when the Washington Nationals visit them for the middle game of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Detwiler, a 27-year-old native of St. Louis, is 0-3 in four career meetings with the Reds while posting a solid 3.13 earned run average across 23 innings of work. He's allowed an opposition batting average of .299 with 19 strikeouts and eight walks.
Detwiler initially reached the majors in 2007 and made one appearance, then made 15, eight and 15 appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively, before catching on as a full-time member of the rotation with 27 starts in 33 appearances last season.
He was 2-6 in 16 road appearances last season and was 2-2 in eight appearances during the day.
The Reds counter with fourth-year righty Mike Leake, who made a career-high 30 starts last season while pitching a career-high 179 innings.
The 25-year-old Californian was 8-9 in 17 decisions, falling four victories short of the 12 he recorded in 2011. His ERA was also up to 4.58 from 3.86 in 2011 and his opposition batting average climbed from .250 to .287.
Leake is 3-2 in six career meetings with Washington while posting a 5.13 ERA and allowing 37 hits and 21 runs in 33 1/3 innings.
He was 4-5 in 16 home starts last season and went 1-2 in eight day starts.
On Friday, Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart each hit two homers and Cincinnati smacked six home runs in a 15-0 rout of the Nationals. Frazier went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored for the Reds, who had 19 hits.
Cozart knocked in five runs, Xavier Paul hit a grand slam and Shin- Soo Choo added a solo homer in the rout.
Homer Bailey (1-0) gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings for Cincinnati, which has won three in a row. The right-hander, who fanned six and walked three, went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 33 starts last season.
Dan Haren (0-1) got rocked in his Nationals debut, allowing six runs on nine hits over four innings. The right-hander, who gave up four homers, went 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last season.
Washington won five of seven games in 2012, including two of three in Cincinnati.