Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto makes his first appearance in more than a month on Monday night when the Reds visit Citi Field for the first of three games with the New York Mets.
The 27-year-old Dominican led the Reds with 19 victories last season, but had his 2013 short-circuited early with a strained right lat muscle that landed him on the 15-disabled list as of April 14.
He hasn't pitched since a day earlier, when he was touched for two hits and a run in 4 1/3 innings at Pittsburgh in a game the Reds ultimately lost, 3-1.
In three overall appearances prior to the injury, Cueto allowed five runs on 12 hits in 17 1/3 innings, with six walks and 18 strikeouts.
He's 1-3 in six career meetings with the Mets.
For New York, righty Shaun Marcum makes a sixth attempt at a first win in a Mets uniform.
The 31-year-old Kansas City native was 7-4 in 21 starts with Milwaukee last season, then signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Mets in January.
He dropped a 9-4 decision to Philadelphia in his debut outing on April 27, and has subsequently lost three decisions in four starts while posting a 6.75 earned run average.
Marcum is 1-1 in four lifetime meetings with the Reds.
On Sunday in Philadelphia, Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis each homered off of Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the Phillies to a 3-2 win over the Reds at Citizens Bank Park.
Homer Bailey baffled Philadelphia hitters with seven scoreless innings, but saw his effort ruined after Kratz, who took over at catcher when Carlos Ruiz left in the third inning with an apparent hamstring injury, took Chapman (3-2) deep to left on a 3-2 count to tie the score.
The next man up was Galvis, who also sent a Chapman offering over the fence in left to lift the Phillies to a series victory and fifth win in seven tries overall.
Bailey, who gave up five hits and a walk, hurled a gem against the Phils earlier this year as well, when he struck out 10 and yielded just two hits in eight innings in a 1-0 Reds' victory on Apr. 16.
"It is an unfortunate way for it to end," Reds manager Dusty Baker lamented.
In Chicago, Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the eighth inning as the Mets edged the Cubs, 4-3, in the rubber match of a three-game set at Wrigley Field.
Chicago led 3-1 heading into the seventh before Juan Lagares tied the game with his first career major league homer, a two-run shot off Cubs starter Travis Wood. Murphy hit the eventual game-winner off Kyuji Fujikawa (1-1) to open up the eighth.
"It was really nice to put a good swing on that ball," Murphy said.
Scott Rice (2-3) earned the win following two shutout innings of relief, while Bobby Parnell picked up his sixth save of the season with a scoreless ninth.
The Mets have won three of four.
The Reds won six of eight games with the Mets last season, while New York was a winner in five of seven meetings in 2011.