The Milwaukee Brewers have regained their early-season form by winning nine of their last 13 contests to resume their charge toward first place in the National League Central. The Brewers look to continue their surge on Tuesday when they begin a six-game homestand with the opener an abbreviated two-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Domingo Santana recorded his second multi-hit performance in four outings in Sunday’s 3-2 victory over the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers, but is just 10-for-49 with 18 strikeouts this season versus St. Louis. While the Brewers are ascending, the Cardinals have flown south of late with losses in nine of 13 outings to reside 4 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs. Matt Carpenter belted a solo homer in Sunday’s 3-2 setback to Tampa Bay and looks to continue his hot streak this season versus Milwaukee, against which he is batting .326 with three homers, six RBIs and 10 runs scored. St. Louis is just 28-34 away from Busch Stadium as it begins a 10-game road trip on Tuesday.
TV: 7:40 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Luke Weaver (2-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Matt Garza (6-7, 4.67)
Weaver was dominant in his first start in place of injured Adam Wainwright on Wednesday, striking out a career high-tying 10 and allowing just three hits over seven scoreless innings in a 6-2 victory over San Diego. “It helps when the command is there,” the 24-year-old said. “I just told myself to trust my pitch. I got through the first (inning) and slowed things down, pitched with a little grit.” Weaver’s other big-league win this season came in Miller Park, where he permitted two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts over 6 1/3 frames in a 5-4 victory on Aug. 2.
After being scorched for 20 runs in his previous three outings, Garza settled for a no-decision on Wednesday despite yielding just one run on five hits in as many innings against San Francisco. “I was going into the game thinking: If Matt gives us 15 outs, we’re in good shape,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said of the 33-year-old. “One run in five innings. I’ll take that every single time. He did exactly what we asked him to do.” Garza has received better results in a pair of outings versus St. Louis this season, posting a 2-0 mark with a 4.22 ERA.
1. St. Louis 2B Kolten Wong carries a 10-game hitting streak into Tuesday’s tilt with Milwaukee, against which he is batting a robust .435 with 11 RBIs this season.
2. Brewers OF Ryan Braun is 0-for-13 with three strikeouts in his last four contests.
3. Cardinals C Yadier Molina has 14 hits with seven runs scored in his last 10 games.
PREDICTION: Brewers 4, Cardinals 1