The Milwaukee Brewers came into the series hot after winning a pair of sets against first-place teams, but a last-place team proved to be a big challenge. The Brewers will try to bounce back and even the series when they visit the Cincinnati Reds for the second of a three-game series on Tuesday.
Milwaukee is trying to track down the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and the Colorado Rockies in the NL wild card race and was hoping to gain some ground against the last-place Reds, but Billy Hamilton clubbed a walk-off home run as Cincinnati took the series opener 5-4 on Monday. The Brewers remain 3 1/2 games behind the Cubs, who lost on Monday as well, but fell 1 1/2 games behind the Rockies for the second wild card. Cincinnati managed a total of one run in losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday and Sunday and squandered a four-run lead on Monday before Hamilton clubbed his fourth homer of the season. Milwaukee will try to bounce back behind right-hander Zach Davies while the Reds counter with Robert Stephenson.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FSN Ohio (Cincinnati)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Zach Davies (16-7, 3.85 ERA) vs. Reds RH Robert Stephenson (3-4, 5.52)
Davies allowed a total of three earned runs in his last four starts and is at his best on the road, where he owns an 8-1 record with a 2.13 ERA. The 24-year-old did not yield an earned run in any of his last five road outings, including seven scoreless innings at the major league-best Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 26. Davies faced Cincinnati twice in April and surrendered a total of three runs and 11 hits in 10 innings.
Stephenson is getting another chance to earn a spot in the rotation and is taking advantage by allowing two or fewer earned runs in each of his last three outings. The 24-year-old totaled 18 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings over his last two starts. Stephenson tossed two hitless innings of relief at Milwaukee on Aug. 13 but owns a 7.94 ERA in three career appearances against the division rivals.
1. Reds manager Bryan Price confirmed that the club picked up his contract option for 2018.
2. Milwaukee OF Ryan Braun is 5-for-8 in the last two games and hit his 299th career home run on Monday.
3. Cincinnati recalled pitchers Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, Rookie Davis and Jackson Stephens after Monday’s game.
PREDICTION: Brewers 5, Reds 2