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May 6, 2024 5:15 pm

Reds, Diamondbacks both working through offensive woes

jake mccarthy

The Cincinnati Reds will try to snap out of an extended offensive funk when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series.

Losers of a season-high five straight overall, the Reds are coming off a sweep by the Baltimore Orioles in which they were outscored 16-2, didn’t score in 19 1/3 innings against three Baltimore starters and collected just 11 hits in the three games.

“It was a tough series. A tough little stretch for our team,” Cincinnati manager David Bell said. “It’s going to turn around. Not a whole lot more to say.”

Bell indicated Sunday that one significant player could be on the verge of returning. Starting center fielder TJ Friedl has played four minor league games with Triple-A Louisville as he attempts to return from a fractured right wrist sustained in spring training.

Friedl went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs in Louisville’s 7-6 win at St. Paul on Sunday.

“There is a chance, but I think it really just kind of depends,” Bell said. “I think it matters a lot with TJ. So we’ll talk to him, see where he is. Of course, he wants to play. He wants to be here as quick as he can, and we’re gonna make him want to do it in a healthy way when he’s ready.”

Another Cincinnati player is certain to return from injury as right-hander Frankie Montas (2-2, 4.19 ERA) will be activated off the 15-day injured list and start for the Reds in the series opener Tuesday.

Montas was drilled on the right forearm by a 101-mph line drive off the bat of the Los Angeles Angels’ Taylor Ward on April 21 just 16 pitches into the game. He missed two starts but didn’t require a minor league rehab stint.

Prior to his injury on April 21, he lasted just two innings in Seattle on April 15, allowing five runs on just three hits, walking five and surrendering two home runs. He took the loss in Cincinnati’s 9-3 defeat to the Mariners.

Lifetime, Montas is 1-1 with a 11.74 ERA in two previous starts against Arizona, allowing 10 runs on nine hits over 7 2/3 innings.

The Diamondbacks counter with right-hander Zac Gallen (3-2, 3.38), making his seventh start of the season.

Gallen has dropped his last two starts after a 3-0 start to the season. In his last start on April 26, Gallen was charged with three hits and three runs in Arizona’s 6-1 loss to Seattle.

Gallen will be making his fourth career start against the Reds, and his first in Cincinnati since 2021. The righty is 0-1 with a 3.93 ERA in three previous career starts, allowing eight runs on 11 hits over 18 1/3 innings.

Coming off a run to the 2023 World Series, Arizona has started 15-20 and has been having its own offensive problems to open 2024.

The Diamondbacks broke out for double-digit runs Sunday in an 11-4 home win over San Diego. Arizona had scored only 16 runs in its previous nine games.

“I just think it’s about having good at bats,” D-backs outfielder Jake McCarthy said. “Obviously, we all want to slug, we all want to have a ton of hits. But a walk here or there, just moving a guy over early in the inning (is important). So, again, it sounds really simple, but I think when one through nine does that, it gives us a better chance.”

–Field Level Media

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