Reds hope to sweep Marlins

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 11:49 AM ET

Former phenom Homer Bailey makes his first big-league start in nearly three months when the Cincinnati Reds go for the sweep against the Florida Marlins in today's finale of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

The Reds made it two straight wins on Saturday night, when Mike Leake threw six solid innings and Francisco Cordero survived a rough ninth en route to a 5-4 triumph.

Leake (8-4) gave up six hits and three runs while fanning six batters to snap a three-start losing streak. The Reds went to Cordero in the ninth with a two- run lead, and the right-hander promptly loaded the bases with nobody out before Gaby Sanchez grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to score one run.

Dan Uggla then fouled out to first baseman Joey Votto, however, ending the game and giving Cordero his 31st save of the year.

Cincinnati moved back into a tie for first place in the National League's Central Division with the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost the middle game of their series with the Chicago Cubs yesterday.

Bailey, the Reds' first pick and eighth overall in 2004, hasn't pitched in the majors since going just 2 1/3 innings in a no-decision against Cleveland on May 23.

He went on the 15-day disabled list the following day with right shoulder inflammation and will take the scheduled turn of right-hander Johnny Cueto, who was suspended for seven games for his role in a fight with the Cardinals during Tuesday's game in Cincinnati.

Bailey went seven shutout innings in his last rehabilitation start for Triple- A Louisville, striking out nine and walking none.

He lost a 5-3 decision to the Marlins in his second start of the season, back on April 14 in Miami. That's his lone decision in two career starts against Florida, in which he's allowed 11 hits and five runs in 12 1/3 innings.

Florida replies with Venezuelan right-hander Anibal Sanchez, who'll be trying to reach 10 wins in a season for the second time in his five-year career.

The 26-year-old was a double-digit winner as a rookie in 2006, when he was 10-3 with a 2.83 earned run average in 18 appearances for the Marlins.

He'd won just eight times in three seasons before this year, when he recorded win No. 9 after allowing a pair of unearned runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings of an 8-2 victory at Washington on Tuesday.

Sanchez has split a pair of lifetime meetings with the Reds while allowing 11 hits and five runs in 10 innings.

These teams split a four-game set in Miami from April 12-15, as well as four meetings held at Great American Ball Park last season. The Reds have gone 11-2 against the Marlins at home since 2007, however.


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