CINCINNATI -- Lance Berkman entered Monday's game against the Reds toting an anemic batting average and a high strikeout percentage. No better place than Great American Ball Park for Berkman to end an early-season slump.

Over his 11 seasons in the big leagues, he's dominated the Reds. In the ballpark's six-season history, he's smacked 19 home runs -- the most of any Cincinnati opponent (Boston's Jason Bay is the next-highest at 14) -- and overall against the Reds, he's hit 45 home runs with 126 RBIs, the most of any active player.

Berkman hopes a three-game series here will cure some of his ills. Before Monday's game, he was batting .167, and although he's hit four home runs, he's struck out a team-high 21 times, seven more than anyone else on the roster.

"Sometimes it takes veterans a little time to get going," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "Lance swung it really good in spring, and then he had a little lull. Maybe it's time for him to crank it up. We need it about this time."

Asked if playing at Great American could help Berkman's productivity -- at least mentally -- Cooper crossed his fingers and his arms.

"You see that?" Cooper said. "I have them all crossed, buddy. We need to get him there. Let's get something going."