The one Milwaukee let get away just prior to the start of the season is slowing the Brewers’ drive for a National League postseason slot. Scooter Gennett’s three-run homer was the decisive blow in Tuesday’s 9-3 victory for the Cincinnati Reds, who will go for a three-game sweep of the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon.
Gennett, waived by Milwaukee in March, is 4-for-8 in the series to boost his season totals to 24 homers and 85 RBIs — both career highs by a wide margin. Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who collected a pair of hits Tuesday to lift is season average to .313, is 12-for-35 with a pair of homers and seven RBIs against Matt Garza, who will start the series finale for Milwaukee. Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw hit his 28th homer in Tuesday’s 9-3 loss and is 16-for-48 with five homers and 10 RBIs against Cincinnati this season. Milwaukee remained 3 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the National League Central and 2 1/2 back of Colorado for the second wild card.
TV: 12:35 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Matt Garza (6-8, 4.77 ERA) vs. Reds RH Luis Castillo (2-7, 3.32)
Garza was scheduled to pitch Sunday versus Washington but had that start skipped in the wake of another rocky outing, in which he gave up six runs (three earned) and walked five in 3 1/3 innings against St. Louis on Aug. 29. He overcame five walks to beat the Reds with 5 1/3 innings of four-run ball (three earned) on Aug. 13. Garza is 5-5 with a 4.74 ERA in 16 starts against Cincinnati.
Castillo’s winless drought reached six starts in a no-decision at Pittsburgh on Friday, when he lasted only four innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He was a hard-luck loser in a 1-0 setback to Pittsburgh in his previous turn, tying his season high with nine strikeouts and yielding one run on three hits in seven innings. He also had nine strikeouts versus Milwaukee on June 28.
1. Gennett is 12-for-23 with two homers and seven RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
2. Garza is Milwaukee’s nominee for 2017 Roberto Clemente Award for contributions on and off the field.
3. Reds RHP Raisel Iglesias has converted 25 of 26 save chances.
PREDICTION: Reds 6, Brewers 5