Red Hot Jay Bruce and the Cincinnati Reds Open 3-Game Series with National's Tonight

By Cliff Eastham



Jay Bruce will bring his hot bat into the nation’s capital tonight with the rest of the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds who have been free-falling since the All

Cincinnati will face the Washington Nationals, who have lost three of their last four games, in a three game series beginning tonight at National’s Park. The Reds will send second-year-man Mike Leake, (10-7) to the hill against  Chien-Ming Wang, (1-2) in the opener tonight at 7:05 ET.

Leake gets the most run support of any starting pitcher in the National league. The Reds have averaged over six runs an outing whenever Leake pitches.

Wang missed part of the 2009 season and all of last year, after winning 19 games in 2006 and ’07. His first win since ’09 came last week in a 3-1 over the Chicago Cubs. He wasn’t scored on and gave up just one hit through six innings.

Bruce, the National League Player of the Week, and Player of the Month for May is well on his way to throw another award on his trophy case. The Reds right-fielder has hit a home run in each of the last three games, and five in his last seven.

This will be the Reds’ first look at the Nationals since they acquired left-fielder Jonny Gomes in a trade with the Reds prior to the deadline in July. Gomes has been a welcome addition to a team that is struggling to stay out of the East Division cellar. They are currently 21 games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies.

Unless platoon mate (in Cincinnati and now in Washington) Layne Nix is hurt, Gomes probably won’t see action during this series because the Reds will be stating right hander Johnny Cueto, (8-5) tomorrow and Bronson Arroyo, (7-9) on Thursday. Washington will counter with southpaw Ross Detwiler, (1-2) on Wednesday and Jordan Zimmerman, (7-10) in the series finale.

The Reds currently lead the National League in home runs with 139. The Nat’s are in ninth place with 108.

Washington first-baseman Michael Morse is third in the league in batting with a .321 average. He also leads the team in home runs with 20 and RBI with 69.

After Thursday’s game the Reds will travel to Pittsburgh to play a three game weekend set against the Pirates.

Cliff Eastham is the featured Cincinnati Reds columnist for For daily updates, follow him on Twitter @RedsToTheBone and join the fan page on Rant Sports MLB – Cincinnati Reds

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