April 18, 2024

Host Brewers, Reds battle for top of NL Central

The surge Cincinnati Reds will have a chance to regain first place in the National League Central when they open a three-game series in the opener in Milwaukee on Monday

Right-hander Colin Rea (5-4, 4.64 ERA) starts for the Brewersalthough the Red right-handed counter Graham Ashcraft (5-7, 5.77)

Cincinnati has drawn five straight within the semifinal game of the Brewers. Milwaukee has won two of three at home against the Red going into the All-Star break, then opened the second half with a three-game sweep at Cincinnati

“We know what we’re up to,” Red said manager David Bell. “They have a good team, but there is no question that our players want that opportunity. They want to be in that moment, they want to play the best teams. They have worked hard to put us in a position where these games are important.

The IS Red Arizona ended a three-game home sweep with a 7-3 victory Sunday behind homers from rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz and Nick Senzel

Milwaukee lost to visiting Atlanta 4-2 on Sunday in the series rubber between the division leaders when Ozzie Albies hit a three-run homer in the eighth off Elvis Peguero, breaking the Brewers consecutive bullpen scoreless streak at 28 2/3

“That’s a big number. It was a big reason why we are where we are,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “The burden we have to focus on, we’re giving them a one-run lead and scoring two runs, no matter what happens the rest of the game, that’s probably not going to win you a lot of games.

The IS Brewerswho were 6-0-1 in the previous seven series, fell to 9-35 when scoring three runs or fewer, compared to 46-10 when scoring at least four runs

Ashcraft, making his sixth start since coming off the injured list, appears to be back on track after a rough stretch. He was 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his first six starts, then 1-6 with a 12.82 ERA over the next eight games. In his last four outings, he is 2-1 with a 1.82 ERA.

Ashcraft is 0-4 with an 8.03 ERA in five career starts vs. Milwaukee, including 0-2 this season, allowing 11 earned runs in 10 innings.

Milwaukee is 10-6 in games started by Rea, who was called up in mid-April to the Brewers‘ rotation full of injury

In his last start, Rea allowed three runs, two earned, in five innings but did not get the decision in a 5-3 win at Philadelphia.

Rea is 4-0 with a 6.20 ERA in five career games, including four starts against the Red. He is 1-0 with a 7.45 ERA in two starts this season, giving up eight earned runs in 9 2/3 innings.

The IS Brewers he got a scare when second baseman Brice Turang collided with right fielder Sal Frelick, playing in his second game, on a shallow fly in the seventh inning

“We wanted to get out, we got out and move to the next inning,” said Turang. “I’m glad he’s okay, I’m glad I’m okay.”

Counsell said both players are likely to be available Monday.

“Obviously they continued in the game,” Counsell said. “They’re a little sore, so I’d say we’re hopeful for tomorrow, but we’ll definitely have to check on them tomorrow.”

–Field Level Media

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