Left-hander Tony Cingrani makes the first start of his big- league career on Thursday night when the Cincinnati Reds host the Miami Marlins in the opener of a four-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Cingrani, a 24-year-old from Illinois, was third-round pick of the Reds in 2011 and reached the majors a year later while making three relief appearances and tossing five innings in 2012. He allowed four hits and a run in that brief stint, walking two batters and striking out nine in meetings with Houston, the Marlins and St. Louis.
The visit to Miami came in a 6-4 Reds loss on Sept. 15 and Cingrani allowed a single hit in 1 1/3 innings while recording three strikeouts.
Cingrani's getting the starting call as a fill-in for Johnny Cueto, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle on his right side.
For Miami, 20-year-old phenom Jose Fernandez makes his third start of his rookie year. The Cuban-born export was the 14th overall selection by the Marlins in the 2011 draft and debuted on April 7 in New York against the Mets.
Fernandez picked up a no-decision in the Marlins' 4-3 loss, then got another in Miami's 2-1 win over Philadelphia six days later.
In the two appearances - which made him the youngest starting pitcher in Marlins history - he allowed just five hits and a run in 11 innings, with three walks and 13 strikeouts.
On Wednesday in Miami, Kurt Suzuki homered, tripled and drove in two runs and a healthy Bryce Harper went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored as the Washington Nationals downed the Marlins, 6-1, in the rubber match of a three- game installment.
Miami scored its lone run in the fifth with Donovan Solano's RBI single. Starter Ricky Nolasco (0-2), who picked up the loss in a 2-0 defeat versus the Nationals on Opening Day, lasted six innings and gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out six in defeat.
The Marlins have lost nine of their last 11 games.
Meanwhile in Cincinnati, the Reds quickly ended Tuesday's suspended game with a 1-0 win and rode the momentum into the regularly scheduled series finale against the slumping Philadelphia Phillies, winning 11-2.
Mike Leake (1-0) hurled seven scoreless innings and struck out seven while allowing as many hits as he recorded himself, as he went 3-for-4, scored three times and knocked in a run with a triple.
Zack Cozart also had three of Cincinnati's 15 hits and belted a two-run homer, while Brandon Phillips had three RBI in the rout.
"It seemed like the hitting just kept on going," Cozart said.
The teams have split their season series, 3-3, for each of the last two years. Cincinnati won five of the seven games played in 2010.