Right-hander Logan Webb continues his pursuit of a spot on the National League All-Star team when he attempts to help the San Francisco Giants return to their winning ways against the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
The Reds got the better of the pitching matchup in Friday's series opener.Rookie Graham Ashcraft beat the Giants for the second time in four weeks following eight stellar innings in a 4-2 victory.
Like Ashcraft, Webb (6-2, 3.26 ERA) has never lost to his opponent, including throwing six shutout innings in a 6-3 win at Cincinnati on May 17, 2021.
The only other time Webb faced the Reds, the 25-year-old tossed one scoreless inning of relief on April 14, 2021.
Webb has allowed just one run in 14 innings in his last two starts against the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves, respectively.
Seeking a second straight win after dropping seven in a row, the Reds are expected to send veteran left-hander Mike Minor (1-3, 6.97) to the mound on Saturday.
The 34-year-old has received a decision in all four of his starts this season. He's coming off a 6-3 home loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday in which he allowed four runs in six innings.
Minor has gone 3-3 with a 4.04 ERA in nine career appearances (eight starts) against the Giants. That record includes a 2-1 mark with a 4.05 ERA in four games (three starts) at San Francisco.
Giants catcher Curt Casali recorded a two-hit performance in the series opener against his former team. San Francisco mustered just six hits in the game, one being a solo home run by Evan Longoria.
Casali was involved in a key play in the game in which he was called for catcher's interference on Nick Senzel's swing in the fifth inning. Senzel came around to score what turned out to be the difference-making run.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn't fault his catcher afterward.
"That's been called on Nick quite a bit," Kapler said. "Curt made the adjustment in the last at-bat, backing up and giving him a little bit more room. It's not intentional; it's just part of baseball. You try to be responsive to it."
In their second season since Casali left as a free agent, the Reds have struggled to get offense from their catcher position this month. Aramis Garcia went 1-for-3 with a strikeout while batting ninth in the series opener.
The Reds have used three catchers since losing starter Tyler Stephenson to a fractured right thumb on June 9. Those guys -- Garcia, Chris Okey and Mark Kolozsvary -- are currently hitting .167, .182 and .091, respectively.
Stephenson definitely is out for the remainder of this series, but took a step toward returning when he got his cast removed earlier this week. He was able to participate in "light baseball activity" prior to Friday's series opener.
Currently hitting .305, Stephenson is counting the days until his return to game action.
"It's really just a tolerance thing and obviously making sure I'm 100 percent before I come back," he said. "I know the big question is going to be hitting and the vibration of the bat. That's really going to be a big test - hopefully sooner than later."
--Field Level Media