National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, May 3rd
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (9-15) at Cincinnati Reds (11-12), 12:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.33)
Cincinnati - Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.60)
(Sports Network) - Ex-Cincinnati right-hander Ryan Dempster comes off the 15-
day disabled list to face his former team today when the Chicago Cubs visit
Great American Ball Park to finish a weather-shortened two-game set with the
The teams had been scheduled to play three midweek games, but Tuesday's opener
was postponed by rain and no makeup date has been set. Instead, the series
opened Wednesday and the Cubs broke on top when Jeff Samardzija tossed 7 2/3
innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 win.
Samardzija (3-1) gave up just three hits and two walks while fanning seven.
Rafael Dolis got the last out in the eighth and Carlos Marmol finished it off
in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart hit solo home runs and Geovany Soto added an RBI
single among his two hits for the Cubs, who bounced back from a 6-4 loss to
Philadelphia on Monday.
Bronson Arroyo (1-1) yielded three runs on nine hits and one walk while
fanning three in defeat for the Reds, who had a brief two-game winning streak
Jay Bruce drove in the lone Cincinnati run with an infield out.
Going for the sweep on his 35th birthday is the Canadian-born Dempster, who
was shelved for two-plus weeks with a right groin strain following a no-
decision in the Cubs' 5-2 loss at Miami on April 17.
He went six innings in the game and gave up a pair of unearned runs on four
hits, lowering his season earned run average from 1.88 to 1.33.
Still, Chicago is 0-3 in the games he's started.
Dempster, a former closer, is 7-8 with five saves in 42 lifetime meetings with
the Reds, for whom he made 35 starts in 37 appearances with an 8-12 record
before he was released in November 2003.
He signed with the Cubs two months later and has since won 62 games and saved
85 - including a 17-6 season in 2008 that earned him all-star recognition and
saw him finish sixth in National League Cy Young Award voting.
Starting for the Reds is Texas-born right-hander Homer Bailey, who'll also
celebrate a birthday - his 26th - while facing the Cubs for the second time
this season and eighth time in his career.
He was a 9-4 winner in the first matchup on April 20 at Wrigley Field after
scattering five hits and allowing a single earned run in seven innings.
The win lifted him to 3-2 overall against Chicago and lowered his ERA against
the Cubs to 5.77.
Chicago, which lost two of three to the Reds earlier in the year, is also
expected to activate Kerry Wood from the DL in time for today's finale.
05/03 10:28:01 ET