Ramirez looks for sweep against Astros

Ramirez looks for sweep against Astros

Two future young stars will be on the mound Sunday when the Reds play the finale of their three-game series with the Astros at Great American Ball Park.

Elizardo Ramirez, a 23-year-old right-hander, will start for the Reds. He'll be opposed by 24-year-old Taylor Buchholz.

Ramirez is making his second start of the season and first career appearance against the Astros. Buchholz also is up against an unfamiliar opponent, facing the Reds for the first time in his career.

After finishing up with the National League Central Division rival Astros, the Reds will begin a two-game series against the defending division champion Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.

"I think our division is one of the most competitive in all of baseball," said Reds manager Jerry Narron. "Every team is pretty solid. It's important to beat the teams in our division."

Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Taylor Buchholz (1-1, 1.80 ERA)
Buchholz pitched 8 2/3 innings in his last start against the Pirates, allowing just two hits, striking out five and walking none.

CIN: RHP Elizardo Ramirez (1-0, 2.57 ERA)
Ramirez earned his first big-league victory in his season debut at Washington. He allowed just two earned runs in seven innings.

Player to watch
Edwin Encarnacion has started at third base in 20 of the Reds' 24 games. He is leading the club in both doubles and RBIs.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• None

On radio
• WLW 700 AM

Up next
• Monday: Cardinals (LHP Mark Mulder, 2-0, 3.53 ERA) at Reds (LHP Dave Williams, 1-2, 9.53 ERA), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Cardinals (RHP Sidney Ponson, 3-0, 3.13 ERA) at Reds (RHP Bronson Arroyo, 4-0, 2.34 ERA), 12:35 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Reds (LHP Brandon Claussen, 2-2, 6.04 ERA) at Rockies (LHP Jeff Francis, 0-2, 4.50 ERA), 8:35 p.m. ET

Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.