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Reeling Reds start tough road trip against Cardinals

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati RedsJune 26, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds center fielder Stuart Fairchild (17) steps to second base in a stolen base against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the second inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene/The Cincinnati Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports

After losing eight of their past 11 games, the Cincinnati Reds face a tough seven-game road trip.

They open with four games against the resurgent Cardinals in St. Louis, starting with the series opener Thursday at Busch Stadium. St. Louis has won four of the first five games of its nine-game homestand.

The Reds’ trip continues with three games in New York against the American League East-leading Yankees.

“There’s nothing that’s going to change for this team,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We’re going to keep fighting through it, keep making adjustments like we always do. But there’s nothing that’s going to change for our players in terms of the way we approach every day, trying to get better and doing everything we can to get through this (slump) quickly.”

“We believe we are still right about this. We still have a long way to go. There are still many opportunities ahead of us.”

On Thursday, the Reds are scheduled to start left-hander Andrew Abbott (6-3, 3.40 ERA), who struck out 10 and walked one in Cincinnati’s 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in his last start on Friday . Abbott allowed two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

“I was able to get pitches in the strike zone every which way,” Abbott said. “I was able to win the race by two hits. I was able to win the 1-1 count. I was able to do things that I haven’t been able to do in some games this year. When I can get in front, guys, I can make a throw throw that might be a little bit out of the zone and get them to chase.”

He suffered a 7-1 loss to the Cardinals on May 28. Abbott allowed six runs on seven hits, including home runs to Nolan Arenado and Nolan Gorman, in six-plus innings.

Abbott is 1-2 with a 6.89 ERA in three career starts against the Cardinals.

St. Louis has won eight of 12 games after splitting Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves.

Miles Mikolas (6-6, 4.68) is scheduled to start the series opener against the Reds. He gave up four runs on six hits and two walks in six innings as Cincinnati defeated the San Francisco Giants 9-4 in his last start Saturday.

Before that, he threw five straight quality starts.

He has struggled against the Reds in his career, posting a 5-7 record and a 5.26 ERA in 20 appearances, including 18 as a starter.

Alec Burleson has sparked the St. Louis offense. He drove in three runs during Wednesday’s doubleheader, giving him 11 RBIs in his past five games.

“I just want to keep swinging at balls and hitting the ball hard, because that gives you the best chance to get hits and hit home runs,” Burleson said. “Whether I’m lining up or whatever, I’m just going to keep doing that.”

Cardinals reliever Giovanny Gallegos (shoulder) was activated from the 15-day injured list this week. He pitched a scoreless inning in Game 1 on Wednesday.

“We’ve seen him do it before, and our hope is that he puts together a clean inning like today and feels better about it,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.

Reds outfielder Jake Fraley and third baseman Jeimer Candelario are questionable for this game. Fraley came into Wednesday’s game late due to a lower leg contusion and Candelario is dealing with hamstring tendonitis.

–Field-level media