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Reds try to keep pace in playoff chase in NL Central

Sep 27, 2006 - 3:55 PM Cincinnati (78-79) at Florida (76-81) 7:05 pm EDT

MIAMI (Ticker) -- The Cincinnati Reds ended the Florida Marlins' postseason hopes Tuesday while helping their own. They will try to continue in that direction in the middle contest of a three-game series Wednesday.

With a 5-3 victory in the opener, the Reds ended the Marlins' slim chances of capturing a National League wild card berth. David Ross recorded his third multi-homer game of the season and Chris Denorfia went 4-for-4. Cincinnati now sits 2 1/2 games back of faltering St. Louis in the NL Central and five back of Los Angeles in the wild card.

The Reds will seek a fourth straight win behind Chris Michalak (2-3, 4.50 ERA), who won his last start, ending his slide of three straight losing decisions. He yielded two runs - one earned - and four hits in 4 1/3 innings of a rain-shortened contest Friday.

This will be Michalak's first career appearance against Florida.

With the playoffs out of reach, the Marlins aim to return part of the favor against the Reds behind the arm of Anibal Sanchez (9-3, 2.80).

The rookie righthander goes for his second straight win in his first career start against Cincinnati. He yielded two runs - one earned - and seven hits in seven frames of a 5-2 triumph over the New York Mets on Thursday.

Dan Uggla and fellow rookie Cody Ross had two hits apiece in Tuesday's setback.

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