(SportsNetwork.com) - Raisel Iglesias will make the direct jump to the majors without having pitched in a minor league contest.
The Cuban right-hander, who was signed to a seven-year contract last June, takes the mound for the Cincinnati Reds Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Iglesias defected from Cuba in November 2013 and had been pitching for scouts in Haiti. A converted shortstop, Iglesias pitched during the World Baseball Classic in 2013. He pitched three seasons with Isla de la Juventud in Cuba and went 8-12 with a 3.47 ERA.
In six spring training appearances, the 25-year-old Iglesias was 0-3 with a 3.68 ERA. His first three efforts came in relief and the final three were in a starting role.
Carlos Martinez counters on the hill for the Cardinals. The righty pitched a scoreless seventh inning of relief in the season-opener last Sunday night against the Cubs. This will be his ninth career start.
Martinez, who started in 69 of his 70 minor league appearances, has made 11 relief efforts versus the Reds and is 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA versus them.
On Saturday, Michael Wacha's strong outing to open his 2015 season led the Cardinals to a 4-1 win. Wacha (1-0), whose 2014 season ended when he allowed a series-ending home run to San Francisco's Travis Ishikawa in the NLCS, only allowed a run on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
"That team over there, they were very aggressive early on in the count," Wacha said. "I was able to make some pitches down in the zone and get some weak contact early on. I kept the pitch count down."
Matt Adams' first hit of the season was a solo home run that put the Cardinals up for good in the fourth.
Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto (0-1) was sharp in the Reds' first loss this season, allowing two runs -- one earned -- on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts in seven innings.
"He pitched another great game," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "It looks like he picked up where he left off last year."
The Reds' only run of the game came on Todd Frazier's first-inning home run.
The Cardinals were 12-7 versus the Reds last season, splitting 10 meetings in Cincinnati.