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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 24th (All times eastern)

Chicago Cubs (6-13) at Cincinnati Reds (12-9), 12:35 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Jeff Samardzija (1-3, 3.38) Cincinnati - Mat Latos (0-0, 2.73)

(Sports Network) - Righty Mat Latos makes his fifth start of the season while again seeking his first decision when the Cincinnati Reds host the Chicago Cubs to end a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

Latos, who won 14 of 18 decisions last season, has gotten no verdict in four straight outings in 2013 while allowing 11 runs on 26 hits in 26 1/3 innings.

He tossed seven innings of one-run ball in an April 19 start against Miami, walking one and striking out 10 in a game the Reds lost, 2-1.

Cincinnati is 2-2 in his four starts.

Latos is 2-2 in five starts against the Cubs.

Chicago starts righty Jeff Samardzija, who aims to end a three-start skid.

The former Notre Dame football player was a 3-1 winner at Pittsburgh in his April debut, but has since lost to Atlanta, San Francisco and Milwaukee.

He's pitched six innings in three of four starts and allowed three runs or less in two.

Lifetime against the Reds, he's 1-1 in 16 games.

On Tuesday, Darwin Barney hit a solo homer in the 10th inning to lift Chicago to a 4-2 win.

After Joey Votto tied the game with an RBI single in the ninth off Carlos Marmol (2-1), Barney smashed his first homer of the year into the left field seats.

"I got ahead in the count and he has a really good split fastball," said Barney. "I was looking for something to drive and fortunately I got one."

The Cubs added an insurance run two hitters later. Julio Borbon reached on a weak grounder before moving to second on Corky Miller's throwing error. Borbon stole third and Dave Sappelt followed with a base hit to center to make it 4-2.

The Reds put two runners on with one out in the bottom of the 10th, but Kevin Gregg got Zack Cozart to fly out to right before fanning Votto to seal the win. It was Gregg's first save of the season.

Manny Parra (0-1) was saddled with the loss after giving up Barney's homer.

"I've said it before that if you don't come all the way back on a comeback and make the most of your opportunities, it's not going to work out too good for you," said Reds manager Dusty Baker.

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.

04/24 10:45:22 ET