St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright might be just the pitcher Cincinnati wants to face as the Reds look to avoid their 12th straight loss in Sunday’s game against the visiting Cardinals.

The Reds, mired in one of their worst starts in franchise history, have fared very well against the veteran Wainwright. He is only 10-15 with a 5.29 ERA in 36 appearances, including 31 starts, all time against Cincinnati. That’s his most losses to any team in his career.

But Wainwright (2-1, 2.81 ERA) was stellar in his last outing, allowing a run on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in a 5-1 win at Miami on Tuesday.

He’ll be opposed by Cincinnati rookie lefty Nick Lodolo (0-2, 8.00), who hasn’t gone beyond five innings in either of his first two starts of the season. He’s allowed three homers and five walks to go with 12 strikeouts in nine combined innings in losses to the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Guardians.

The Reds’ 2-13 start matches their second-worst, from 2018, and is four losses shy of tying the team-record 2-17 start in 1931. They’ve lost 11 straight games for the first time since May 2016.

“We have a lot of competitive guys who care a lot,” Reds manager David Bell said after his team fell 5-0 on Saturday. “We got beat today. There is nothing good about it. We continue to be tested. We have to come out (Sunday) and focus.”

During their current losing streak, the Reds became the only National League team ever to lose nine consecutive games in which they registered seven or fewer hits in each game. The Reds ended that streak on Friday night, when they tallied nine in their 4-2 defeat.

Meantime, the Cardinals are headed in the opposite direction after opening the series with back-to-back wins. They’ll head into Sunday’s series finale having won six of their past eight games and outscoring the opposition 33-16.

“Our players and our staff have the right mindset, regardless if we’re home or away,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “The preparation has been elite. I’ve been very impressed by it.”

Wainwright will look to mirror the performance given by Dakota Hudson (1-1) on Saturday. Hudson yielded just two hits — a double by Nick Senzel and a single by Aramis Garcia — to go along with four strikeouts and four walks before being relieved by Andre Pallante with two outs in the seventh.

Offensively, Paul Goldschmidt blasted a two-run double. He recorded two hits, as did Andrew Knizner and Dylan Carlson, while Tommy Edman went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI single.

The Reds finished with just three hits.

–Field Level Media