Cincinnati youngster Tony Cingrani gets his first career look at the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night when the Reds host their National League Central rivals in the first of three games at Great American Ball Park.
A 23-year-old Illinois native who was drafted by the Reds in 2011, Cingrani debuted with three relief appearances a year later and posted a 1.80 earned run average across five big-league innings.
He was plugged into the Cincinnati rotation this spring when Johnny Cueto went on the disabled list with a right lat muscle injury, and he won his debut start with five innings of one-run ball in an 11-1 defeat of Miami.
He's gotten a win and two no-decisions in three subsequent efforts while allowing 10 hits and six runs in 19 innings, walking two batters and striking out 25.
Batters hit .200 off Cingrani in his brief major-league stint last season and have managed just a .179 clip against him in 29 innings this season.
The Brewers go with Mexican-born righty Yovani Gallardo, who's won three straight decisions since beginning the year 0-1 in his first three starts.
Gallardo, a 16-game winner last season, was beaten, 8-0, by St. Louis on April 13 but bounced back with wins over San Francisco, San Diego and Pittsburgh in his next three starts through April 29.
In those wins, he gave up a combined 16 hits and six runs in 19 2/3 innings.
He is 5-5 in 15 career starts against the Reds.
On Wednesday in Milwaukee, Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland each hit a solo homer, with Moreland driving in two runs as the Texas Rangers defeated the Brewers, 4-1, in the second and final game of a two-game set.
Carlos Gomez was a perfect 4-for-4 with a double and a triple and Aramis Ramirez drove in the lone run for the Brewers, who saw starter Kyle Lohse (1-4) give up four runs on nine hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.
"I made some mistakes and I put my team in a hole," said Lohse. "I got to give our team a chance to come back. For the most part, I executed well, but got hurt by a couple of missed plays and pitches."
In Cincinnati, Dan Uggla smacked two solo homers in the Atlanta Braves' 7-2 win over the Reds in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Mike Leake (2-2) fanned six, but allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk over seven-plus frames for the Reds, who had won four of their last five games coming in.
The Reds won nine of 15 games with the Brewers in 2012 and the teams split their series, 8-8, in 2011. Milwaukee hasn't won the season series since 2006.