(Updated: Adds MLB Network to TV)
The Milwaukee Brewers can’t afford any more slip-ups as they try to catch the Colorado Rockies for the National League’s second wild-card spot. The Brewers look to win the finale of a three-game set against visiting Cincinnati on Thursday, one day after a damaging 6-0 loss to the Reds dropped them 2 1/2 games behind Colorado with four left to play.
The latest setback was the fifth in seven games for Milwaukee, which has been blanked in two of its last three contests and had just four hits on Wednesday. Complicating the Brewers’ bid to catch the Rockies is that their final three games are against the St. Louis Cardinals, the only other team still alive for the wild-card spot entering Thursday. Cincinnati halted a seven-game slide with Wednesday’s victory and is looking to win three more games to avoid finishing with fewer than 70 wins for the third straight season. Reds star first baseman Joey Votto smashed his 36th homer on Wednesday - one shy of his career high set in 2010 - and needs to drive in one more run to record his third career 100-RBI season.
TV: 4:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Sal Romano (5-7, 4.43 ERA) vs. Brewers LH Brent Suter (3-2, 3.29)
Romano lost to the Boston Red Sox in his last turn when he gave up five runs and five hits in four innings. The 23-year-old rookie turned in a superb outing in his previous turn when he blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates over eight innings. Romano is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two appearances (one start) against Milwaukee and allowed seven runs (six earned) and eight hits in five innings during a loss on Aug. 13.
Suter received a no-decision in his last turn when he gave up one run and six hits over 5 1/3 innings against the Chicago Cubs. The 28-year-old is making his 14th start of the season and trying to prove to team management that he can counted on as a starter in the 2018 rotation. Suter received a no-decision against the Reds on Aug. 12 when he served up three homers and gave up five runs and four hits in five innings.
1. Reds C Tucker Barnhart homered on Wednesday to end a 12-game homerless drought.
2. Milwaukee 1B Eric Thames (foot) left Wednesday’s game after fouling a pitch off himself - he has hit 10 homers against the Reds this season.
3. Cincinnati SS Zack Cozart (quadriceps) departed Wednesday’s contest and his status is uncertain for Thursday.
PREDICTION: Brewers 6, Reds 4