The margin of error continues to shrink for the Milwaukee Brewers, who are trying to overtake Colorado for the second wild card in the National League. The Brewers resume their final home series of the season when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for the middle contest of their three-game set.
Domingo Santana got Milwaukee off to a fast start, belting a three-run homer to spark a four-run first inning in Tuesday’s 7-6 win that left the club 1 1/2 games behind the Rockies with five to play. Orlando Arcia collected three more hits to improve to 21-for-59 against the Reds this season. Milwaukee is only one game ahead of St. Louis and plays its final three on the road against the Cardinals, so it cannot afford a misstep versus Cincinnati, which has dropped seven consecutive contests. Scott Schebler hit his 30th homer of the season on Tuesday - and fifth against the Brewers.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Homer Bailey (5-9, 6.96 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Brandon Woodruff (2-2, 3.76)
Bailey is coming off another shaky outing on Thursday, lasting only four innings while giving up four runs and seven hits in a loss to St. Louis. He has faced the Brewers twice within the past seven weeks, winning at Milwaukee with five innings of two-run ball on Aug. 11 and settling for a no-decision on Sept. 4 after allowing three runs in six frames. Ryan Braun is 16-for-44 with four homers off Bailey.
After allowing four earned runs in his first four major-league starts, Woodruff has had some shaky moments over his last three turns, surrendering 13 runs and 20 hits over 17 frames. The 24-year-old took the loss against the Chicago Cubs last time out after giving up four runs and five hits in five innings. Woodruff has allowed only one earned run in five road starts, but his ERA is four runs higher at home (4.85).
1. Reds 1B Joey Votto is 19-for-45 with five homers against Milwaukee this season.
2. Brewers 1B Eric Thames collected two hits Tuesday to improve to 19-for-55 with 10 homers and 17 RBIs against the Reds.
3. Cincinnati SS Zack Cozart hit his 24th homer on Tuesday to match his career high with 63 RBIs.
PREDICTION: Reds 6, Brewers 5