The Milwaukee Brewers are in full free-fall mode and look to halt a six-game losing streak when they host the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday for the middle contest of their three-game set. Milwaukee fell behind by eight runs in Friday’s series opener before suffering an 11-10 loss to drop to .500 on the campaign.
Milwaukee has lost 18 of its last 25 games, and its slump has seen it drop to three games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the four-team National League Central race. Eric Thames continued his domination of the Reds as he smacked his 26th homer of the season in the opener - nine of which have come against Cincinnati. Eugenio Suarez reached base five times (three singles, two walks) on Friday while Zack Cozart (3-for-5, homer, walk) and Joey Votto (one hit, three walks) each reached base four times. Votto is 23-for-49 with four homers, 14 RBIs and 19 walks during his 16-game hitting streak.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Ohio (Cincinnati), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Scott Feldman (7-7, 4.34 ERA) vs. Brewers LH Brent Suter (2-2, 3.31)
Feldman is coming off the disabled list to make his first start since injuring his right knee on July 17. The 34-year-old, who is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two starts versus Milwaukee this season, departed the mid-July contest against Washington after one inning due to soreness and is thrilled to be back on the mound. “It’s been pretty annoying being on the DL, as is usually the case. I‘m just happy to get back out there,” Feldman, who has a career record of 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA in six outings against the Brewers, told reporters.
Suter settled for a no-decision against Minnesota in his last start, when he gave up three runs and five hits over four innings. The 27-year-old is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two shaky starts after being superb last month, when he went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in five turns. Suter is making his first career start versus the Reds but has worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings in four relief appearances against them.
1. Milwaukee LF Ryan Braun went 2-for-5 in the opener for his sixth straight multi-hit performance and is 14-for-26 during that stretch.
2. Cincinnati CF Billy Hamilton stole three bases in the opener and is two shy of his fourth straight 50-steal season.
3. Thames recorded three hits on Friday to break out of a 2-for-23 funk.
PREDICTION: Brewers 6, Reds 5