While the Cincinnati Reds’ Sonny Gray continues to show why he’s one of the best pitchers in the majors, the St. Louis Cardinals might have a good one in Kwang Hyun Kim.
The two will square off when the Reds continue their home series against the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Gray (5-1, 1.94 ERA) ranks among the major league leaders in wins, ERA, strikeouts (55) and opponents’ batting average (.180). Though teammate Trevor Bauer enjoyed a strong start to the season, Gray remains the ace of the Reds’ staff.
The right-hander lasted just five innings at Milwaukee on Thursday, but he did not give up a run while yielding four hits during a 6-1 victory in the first game of Cincinnati’s doubleheader sweep. Gray has gone a major-league-record 40 straight games allowing six or fewer hits.
“We had the right guy on the mound to take care of it on the other side of the baseball,” catcher Curt Casali told the Reds’ official website.
Gray has been solid against the Cardinals in four career starts, going 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He wasn’t his sharpest, however, at St. Louis on Aug. 20. Gray gave up two runs and four hits, but also walked a season-high four batters, over six innings and left with a 4-2 lead.
St. Louis, though, scored three in the ninth off closer Raisel Iglesias to win 5-4.
Cardinals star Paul Goldschmidt is a miserable 0-for-12 with five strikeouts against Gray, but he had three hits Monday in St. Louis’ 7-5 win at Cincinnati.
Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong are a combined 2-for-16 versus Gray, but each had two hits on Monday. DeJong’s fourth-inning grand slam helped the Cardinals win their second straight game since losing four in a row.
DeJong, who has homered 14 times in 51 career games versus Cincinnati, is batting .406 (13-for-32) with eight RBIs over his past eight contests overall.
Kim (1-0, 1.08 ERA), a rookie, began his major league career with a relief appearance last month. Since then, he has allowed one earned run and nine hits over 15 2/3 innings in three starts. That included six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, in a 3-0 win over the Reds on Aug. 22, for his first victory.
The left-hander allowed an unearned run and three hits over six innings of a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday.
“He’s been awesome,” teammate Tommy Edman said, according to the Cardinals’ official website. “To keep throwing as well as he has, it’s just incredible. You’ve got to tip your cap to him.”
Jesse Winker and Kyle Farmer were the only Reds to get hits off Kim earlier this month. Winker, who is appealing a one-game ban for his role in a bench-clearing incident with the Chicago Cubs over the weekend, is 10-for-24 (.417) with four homers and seven RBIs in his last seven games.
Teammate Joey Votto is 6-for-13 in his past four games after going 0-for-18 in his previous five.
The Reds, losers of two straight and five games under .500, made news Monday through two separate trades prior to the trade deadline. They picked up closer Archie Bradley from Arizona and outfielder Brian Goodwin from the Los Angeles Angels.
The Cardinals made no trades Monday.
–Field Level Media