Major League Baseball
Preview
Washington at Cincinnati
When: 7:10 PM ET, Friday, July 25, 2014
Where: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio

The Cincinnati Reds are reeling after dropping their first six games following the All-Star break as they host the Washington Nationals on Friday in the opener of a three-game series. "We don't just all jump on a flight to Cincinnati and everything is fine. It's not," Reds manager Bryan Price told reporters after Wednesday's 5-1 loss in Milwaukee. "We live this life. There's carryover. ... We've gotten away a little bit from what we do. We just need to get back there." Three losses to the first-place Brewers dropped the fourth-place Reds six games behind in the National League Central, and three back of second-place St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

Washington, meanwhile, leads the National League East by 1 1/2 games over Atlanta as it continues its nine-game road trip after winning two of three in Colorado. The Nationals have recorded a double-digit hit total in a season-high six straight games and are 4-2 since the break. Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon looks to bounce back after his career-high six-game winning streak came to an end and opposes Tanner Roark, who tries for his third straight victory and team-leading 10th.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (9-6, 2.91 ERA) vs. Reds RH Alfredo Simon (12-4, 2.74)

Roark yielded one run and six hits while striking out five in seven innings of an 8-3 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday - his second straight start allowing one run in seven frames. "He's been great. He's fun to play behind, he goes right at the hitters,'' Washington's Ryan Zimmerman told reporters about the 27-year-old Illinois native, who is 5-1 with a 3.28 ERA in 10 night starts this season. It's been a lot of fun to watch." Roark lost his only appearance against Cincinnati 2-1 on May 21.

Simon, who is bidding to become the majors' first 13-game winner, had his streak of eight consecutive quality starts halted when he yielded four runs (two earned) and five hits in five innings of a 7-1 loss at Yankee Stadium on Saturday. The 33-year-old Dominican Republic native, a converted reliever, was 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA in his previous eight outings while becoming one of the biggest surprises in baseball. Simon has a 2.14 ERA in 11 games (one start) over 21 innings against the Nationals.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington plays its second straight game without 3B Zimmerman, who went on the disabled list Wednesday with a hamstring injury. The Nationals are 33-19 with Zimmerman in the lineup and 22-25 without him.

2. The Reds, whose losing streak is a season high, are 2-7 since 2B Brandon Phillips suffered a thumb injury.

3. Cincinnati won two of three in Washington from May 19-21 and is in position to win a season series from Washington for the first time since 2011.

PREDICTION: Reds 3, Nationals 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Washington 55-44 L1 30-20 25-24 19-14 12-15 16-7 8-8
Cincinnati 51-50 L6 27-21 24-29 6-9 28-20 14-13 3-8
Last Meeting
Washington Cincinnati
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/21/14 CIN 2 WAS 1 .194 1 .533 .257 0 .648
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington D. Span .562 9 1.438
Cincinnati Z. Cozart .429 6 1.071
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington D. Span 1 3 4
Cincinnati T. Frazier 1 2 3
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 2.45 .233 22
Cincinnati 2.81 .244 27
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Washington J. Werth .285 105 .822
Cincinnati T. Frazier .283 109 .833
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Washington I. Desmond 17 40 62
Cincinnati T. Frazier 20 58 54
Pitching ERA Avg K
Washington 3.12 .251 803
Cincinnati 3.53 .245 803