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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, April 24th (All times Eastern)

San Francisco Giants (9-7) at Cincinnati Reds (7-9), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: San Francisco - Matt Cain (1-0, 1.88) Cincinnati - Mat Latos (0-2, 8.22)

(Sports Network) - Matt Cain tries to continue his impressive start to the season this evening when the San Francisco Giants open a three-game set with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

Cain was spectacular on Wednesday against Philadelphia, as he scattered two hits over nine scoreless innings. However, his counterpart Cliff Lee was equally effective and Cain did not factor in the decision of the Giants' 1-0 extra-inning win.

He had tossed a one-hitter to beat Pittsburgh in his previous start.

"I don't know if I've ever seen back-to-back games thrown so well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

The 27-year-old right-hander, who agreed to a five-year, $112 million extension just before the start of the season, is 1-0 in three starts this season and has allowed just five runs in 24 innings of work. His run could continue tonight, as he is 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in his last three starts versus the Reds.

Cain will be trying to help the Giants capture their third straight win after they swept both games of a doubleheader from the New York Mets on Monday.

Madison Bumgarner allowed three hits over seven innings, Hector Sanchez hit his first major league home run and the Giants downed the Mets, 7-2, in the nightcap of Monday's doubleheader.

San Francisco won the opener, 6-1, behind five solid innings from Tim Lincecum and home runs from Nate Schierholtz and Buster Posey.

Bumgarner (3-1) was charged with one run, struck out four and walked two for the Giants, who took three of four from the Mets in this series and have won eight of their last 11 overall.

Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run homer in the first inning, Sanchez finished with three RBI and Gregor Blanco knocked in a pair. Sandoval also tied Willie Mays' San Francisco record of starting a season with a hit in 16 straight games.

"It's not easy to win a doubleheader. The guys played well," Bochy said. "It's good to get a doubleheader, especially in New York."

Cincinnati, meanwhile, enters tonight's opener on the heels of taking two of three over the weekend from the Chicago Cubs to cap a 10-game road trip. In Sunday's rubber match, Johnny Cueto tossed 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one earned run as the Reds took a 4-3 decision.

Cueto (2-0) allowed just five hits and two runs overall while walking two and striking out a season-high seven in his 120th major league start. Sean Marshall yielded one run on one hit in the ninth to record his third save of the year.

Joey Votto added two doubles, an RBI and a run scored, while Drew Stubbs, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce knocked in a run apiece for the Reds, who have won three of four.

Tonight, though, they turn to struggling right-hander Mat Latos, who is 0-2 with a 8.22 REA. Latos was hammered by the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, surrendering eight runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.

"It wasn't really about not hitting my spots. It was more not trusting my stuff," said Latos, who has yet to complete six innings in any of his three starts. "I was not trusting my stuff and not just rearing back and letting it go. I was trying to be too fine and too perfect."

Latos has faced the Giants nine times and is 2-3 against them with a 2.64 ERA.

04/24 10:44:21 ET