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STL@CIN: Cueto fans eight over seven strong innings

In just the last three days alone, the Reds endured six hours and 22 minutes worth of rain delays vs. the Cardinals and a cold, blustery and rainy night in Friday's series opener against the Mets.

There's good news for all involved on Saturday when the Reds and Mets meet again: no rain is expected in the forecast and temperatures are expected to be in the 50s.

"We're optimistic that Saturday and Sunday will be nice days to play," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Price didn't believe his players were overly affected by the wet conditions in the previous games, but better weather is always preferred.

"The concern for me is being able to steal bases and things of that nature with the ground being a little bit softer," Price said.

Saturday's game will feature the return of both team's Opening Day starters from Monday. The Mets will start Dillon Gee against Reds ace Johnny Cueto.

Gee gave up four earned runs and four hits with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings vs. the Nationals and got a no-decision in the 9-7 loss. His lone career start vs. Cincinnati came in 2012, a game he lost after giving three runs over six innings.

Cueto, who is 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA lifetime in eight games vs. the Mets, allowed only one run and three hits over seven innings, but it was enough for a 1-0 loss to St. Louis.

Reds: Hamilton will return to the lineup
Reds rookie leadoff hitter and center fielder Billy Hamilton received a night off from the starting lineup on Friday. Look for him to be back on Saturday.

"He'll definitely be playing," Price said.

Hamilton started the season going 0-for-12 with six strikeouts. He did enter Friday's game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning, and the speedy runner was caught stealing.

"I'm going to do a bunch of cage work," Hamilton said Friday. "It's not that it's my swing, it's my mental approach. But I feel like this off-day and being on the bench will get things off my mind and not worry about anything."

Mets: Every day is Duda Day
The Mets' newly-crowned starting first baseman, Lucas Duda hit a pair of two-run homers Friday against the Reds and will look to keep his momentum rolling Saturday against another right-handed pitcher.

Though manager Terry Collins said Ike Davis will likely start one of this weekend's three games against the Reds, the situation is fluid enough that Duda could probably steal away that playing time with a couple of hot games. He is 3-for-8 with a homer and four strikeouts all-time against Cueto.

Worth noting
• When Ramon Santiago started at shortstop on Friday, he became the 24th different double-play partner for second baseman Brandon Phillips since 2006.

• The first 20,000 fans at Citi Field on Saturday will receive a 2014 Mets calendar.

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