The Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers close out a National League Central series Sunday afternoon at Miller Park
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Cincinnati will leave Milwaukee with at least one victory in this four-game series after coming away with an 8-4 win Saturday night. Reds outfielder Jay Bruce delivered the knockout blow with a 10th inning home run, as he finished the game 3-for-4 and two runs scored. “He’s coming up big for us, some big home runs, and boy, that was a big night for us,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker. The club cleared the air a bit in a clubhouse meeting before the contest and will aim to return to .500 before the All-Star break. Cincinnati is 2-4 on its current road trip and 22-25 overall away from the Great American Ballpark.
Reds starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis returns to a Major League mound for the first time since June 29, 2010, for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “It’s not like I’m welcoming some rookie or some guy who’s in his first time in the big leagues,” Baker stated about Willis’ return. “We gave him an opportunity and he seized it.” The left-hander registered a 5-2 record and 2.63 ERA in 13 starts at Triple-A Louisville. Those numbers are definitely improved from the 9.31 ERA he compiled in seven relief appearances during Spring Training. In five career games versus the Brewers, Willis has posted a 3-2 mark and 2.65 ERA.
Milwaukee is looking to capture its 11th home series victory in 15 tries by closing out today’s National League Central contest. The Brewers have also lost consecutive home games just once this year. The club enters the final contest before the Midsummer Classic tied atop the division with St. Louis with a 48-43 overall record, while the Reds sit three games back. It’s likely that All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun will miss his eighth game of the season, as the team is 3-4 in the previous seven games without its star. Milwaukee is 14-16 in day games this year.
Brewers starting pitcher Randy Wolf is an even 6-6 with a 3.72 ERA in 18 starts this season and will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak. He is coming off one of his worst career outings, allowing seven runs and 10 hits in six frames in a 7-3 home loss to the Diamondbacks. Wolf has a winning 3-2 mark and 3.68 ERA in eight starts overall at Miller Park, as opponents are hitting .261 against him. In 21 career outings versus the Reds, the veteran has registered a 10-4 record and 3.44 ERA, but dropped a 12-3 season-opening contest in Cincinnati against them this year.
Bettors will likely back the Reds due to their 26-18 record versus divisional foes, while the Brewers are 2-6 in Wolf’s last eight starts in the same situation