Cubs welcome Reds for first night game

Cubs welcome Reds for first Wrigley night game

It's time to turn on the lights.

The Chicago Cubs will play their first night game at Wrigley Field on Monday when they entertain the Cincinnati Reds. Mark Prior will open the three-game series, and be followed on Tuesday by Carlos Zambrano, and on Wednesday by Ryan Dempster.

Prior has yet to give up an earned run in his two starts, and has struck out 12 over 13 innings. He beat the Reds in his last game April 19, striking out six and walking two. Lifetime against Cincinnati, Prior is 1-2 with a 1.82 ERA.

It will be interesting to watch who Cubs manager Dusty Baker calls on in save situations. Chad Fox picked up his first save on Sunday nearly two years to the day after his last one as Baker switched to a "bullpen by situation," rather than relying solely on LaTroy Hawkins.

But Fox is coming back from elbow surgery and may not be as durable a closer as the Cubs would like. Baker could rotate Hawkins back into the spot, or possibly use Michael Wuertz in save situations.

The Cubs split a two-game series at Great American Ball Park last week, and went 9-8 against Cincinnati last year.

Pitching matchup
CIN: RHP Paul Wilson
• 1-1, 5.63 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 3.86 ERA in 2004 vs. CHC

CHC: RHP Mark Prior
• 2-0, 0.00 ERA in 2005
• 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 2005 vs. CIN

Player to watch
Neifi Perez is hot. The shortstop, who is subbing for Nomar Garciaparra, is 8-for-11 in his last three games.

"It's a long year and you can't throw someone by the wayside just because he blew a game last night. I think we're all ready and prepared down there. If the phone rings in the ninth, let's go get 'em." -- Fox, on the closer situation

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
Official game notes

On television
• CIN: Fox Sports Net Ohio

On radio
• CIN: WLW 700 AM
• CHC: WGN 720 AM

Quick hits
Derrek Lee has a seven-game hitting streak, and is 14-for-27 in that stretch. ... Sean Casey is 2-for-16 against Prior, Adam Dunn is 2-for-11, Jason LaRue 5-for-11, and Wily Mo Pena 1-for-3 with one double. ... Jeromy Burnitz is 4-for-11 lifetime against Wilson, Jerry Hairston Jr. 9-for-30, Todd Hollandsworth 4-for-13, Lee 3-for-20 with one home run, Aramis Ramirez 3-for-14, and Corey Patterson is 6-for-21. ... Fox's save on Sunday was his first since April 25, 2003.

On deck
• Tuesday: vs. Reds, 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: vs. Reds, 1:20 p.m. CT
• Friday: at Astros, 7:05 p.m. CT

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.