Lefty Tony Cingrani makes his second career start for the Cincinnati Reds when they host the Chicago Cubs in the middle game of a three- game series on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.
A third-round pick in 2011, Cingrani reached the majors last season and pitched five innings in relief, allowing four hits and a run in three combined outings.
He entered the rotation this season after starter Johnny Cueto was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an injury to his right lat muscle.
Cingrani allowed five hits and a run in five innings of his debut against the Miami Marlins on April 18 and emerged with an 11-1 win after walking three and striking out eight.
He has never faced the Cubs.
Chicago goes with 29-year-old righty Carlos Villanueva, who starts for the fourth time since signing a free agent deal in the offseason.
Villanueva was 7-7 as a starter and reliever last year in Toronto, making 16 starts and 22 relief outings.
He allowed nine hits and a run in compiling no-decisions in his initial two starts with the Cubs, then gave up two runs on four hits in seven innings of a 6-2 defeat of Texas on April 18.
Villanueva is 2-2 in 20 career meetings with the Reds and is 0-1 in 10 appearances at Great American Ball Park.
On Monday, Cesar Izturis capped a three-run rally in the 13th inning with the game-winning RBI single, and the Reds outlasted the Cubs, 5-4, in a marathon 4-hour, 35-minute affair.
Chicago's Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer off Reds reliever Alfredo Simon (2-1) in the top half of the inning to put the Cubs ahead, but Cincinnati drew even on Jay Bruce's two-run double.
Two batters later, Izturis ripped a liner off Michael Bowden (0-1), and it sailed just past the reach of shortstop Starlin Castro to send the Reds to their seventh win in eight games.
"I got a pitch I could handle," Bruce said. "To come back like that really says a lot of our team."
Bruce added his first home run of the season earlier in the contest and Jack Hannahan provided a pinch-hit RBI triple.
Castro had an RBI single and extended his hitting streak to 14 games, but was just 1-for-6 and lined out with the bases loaded in the 11th. Nate Schierholtz had three hits in the Cubs' seventh loss in eight tries.
"We just couldn't get the three outs," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "It's frustrating."
The Reds have won 12, 11 and 12 games against the Cubs in each of the last three seasons. Chicago last won the series in 2009, when it took 10 of 15 games.