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CIN@WSH: Bailey fans six, holds Nats to one run

The first time the Cardinals and Reds played a series this season, St. Louis won the rubber game of a three-game set at Busch Stadium. The Reds hope it's their turn on Wednesday afternoon, when the teams close the second of their six series.

The Cardinals snapped their first three-game losing streak of the season with a 2-1 win on Tuesday, improving to 2-3 on their six-game homestand, but their sputtering offense still has produced only six runs over the last four contests.

The Reds, who now sit a game behind their rivals in the standings, will turn to a pitcher who has struggled against the Cardinals in the past.

Right-hander Homer Bailey, who will oppose St. Louis' Lance Lynn, has a 5.52 ERA in 14 career starts against the Cardinals, including a 6.93 mark in six outings at Busch Stadium. Bailey posted his only non-quality start of the year on April 10 at St. Louis, surrendering seven runs on nine hits in five innings.

He took a tough-luck loss on Friday, holding the Nationals to one run on five hits in seven innings during a 1-0 defeat.

Lynn is riding a four-start winning streak that began on April 9, when he struck out 10 Reds over six solid innings. Over that stretch the righty has posted a 2.16 ERA in 25 innings, with 31 strikeouts.

"I feel like I'm in a little bit of a groove here," Lynn said after beating the Pirates on Friday. "It was good to be able to stay in that."

Reds: Filling the left-field gap
With Chris Heisey joining Ryan Ludwick on the disabled list, the Reds have lost their two top options in left field. The club called up Donald Lutz on Monday, although the 24-year-old has yet to start.

Xavier Paul, a left-handed hitter like Lutz, probably will get most of the action with Heisey out. Rookie switch-hitter Derrick Robinson, a strong defender, got the nod on Tuesday with fly-ball pitcher Bronson Arroyo starting and went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

• Third baseman Todd Frazier went 0-for-3 on Tuesday, dropping to 5-for-37 over his past 11 games, with one walk and 12 strikeouts.

Cardinals: Scuffling Freese gets a break
Third baseman David Freese is healthy after starting the year on the disabled list with a sore back, but he wasn't in the lineup on Tuesday and might not return on Wednesday.

Manager Mike Matheny is resting Freese in the hope that some time off will jump-start a player mired in an 0-for-16 slump that has dropped his season average to .163. Freese has yet to homer and has two extra-base hits in 55 plate appearances.

Freese doesn't want to be out of the lineup, but Matheny is going to a strategy he used with center fielder Jon Jay last week. Jay took two games off, then went 3-for-11 with four walks upon his return.

"We tried kind of the same thing with Jon, where we kept letting him play and it just didn't seem like he was trending in a good direction," Matheny said. "I gave him a little time, and he came back, and in his last two games, certainly, he has looked different. He's going up there with some confidence."

Worth noting
• Current Cardinals have combined for a .998 OPS in 147 plate appearances against Bailey. Matt Holliday leads the way by going 12-for-27, with six extra-base hits.

• After Wednesday's game, the Cardinals and Reds won't meet again until June 7, in Cincinnati. Comments