Even after the incredible stretch earlier this month that put the Cincinnati Reds on the National League radar, it's crucial for them to make sure the momentum doesn't go away
"You want to get back on the winning track," Reds manager David Bell said. "We still feel good about the way we're playing, but it's all about winning games. Every time you win a game, you gain confidence.
The Reds gained that pick-me-up by prevailing 3-1 on Tuesday night to squash a three-game losing streak
"It's important to bounce back and get a win," Bell said.
Cincinnati, which held a 12-game winning streak prior to a Saturday loss against the Atlanta Braves, has won nine of its past 10 road games.
"We always need a win," Reds shortstop Matt McLain said. "Having a chance to go out (Wednesday) and win the series is a good position to be in.
The Orioles have been on a pretty good stretch as well, winning five of their past eight games. However, their offense was lacking on Tuesday
"We had a tough time getting any rallies going," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. "We only had three hits. It's tough to win when you have only three hits."
Two of those hits came from infielder Jordan Westburg, who made his major league debut on Monday. Westburg is 3-for-7 (.429) with two walks through two games.
"Really good at-bats once again," Hyde said. "Pretty impressive first couple games."
For Cincinnati, McLain homered and doubled to drive in two runs on Tuesday. He has recorded multi-hit outings in three of his past four games.
"It's really impressive -- his ability to use the whole field," Bell said. "He has power to center field, opposite field, and it allows him to stay with his approach."
Still, Weaver has a 10.80 ERA in June, having yielded 20 runs in 16 2/3 innings. He has appeared in 127 games, including 93 starts, in his eight-season major league career, but he has yet to face the Orioles
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (8-5, 4.30 ERA) will be Baltimore's starter as he tries to shake off a mini-slump. He has given up eight runs across nine innings in his past two starts while absorbing losses to the Chicago Cubs on June 17 and to the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
The Orioles have lost all three games in which Gibson has pitched against a National League opponent this year. He picked up a victory in his only career outing against Cincinnati, when he gave up three runs in six innings and struck out 11 while pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 16, 2022
The first two games of the series included lengthy in-game weather delays. The stoppage came in the eighth inning on Tuesday, so that didn't seem to dent the pitching staffs for either team.
"We were already in our bullpen," Hyde said of the timing of the delay.
--Field Level Media