REDS (45-33) AT BREWERS (53-49)
8:10 p.m. ET; FSWI, FS-O, MLB.TV
The Cincinnati Reds (+1.5) may reside at the bottom of the National League Central, but they are giving the Milwaukee Brewers (-1.5) some difficulties of late, especially when Eugenio Suarez is at the plate.
Suarez was the difference for the Reds on Monday in the opener of a three-game series. The Brewers hope they can keep the third baseman from sending pitches over fences and getting big hits Tuesday night in Milwaukee when the teams play the 15th game of their season series.
The teams have won seven games apiece with the Reds winning the past four. Suarez hit two-run homers in the seventh and ninth innings Monday night as the Reds overcame blowing a three-run lead to win 6-5.
The ninth-inning homer off Jeremy Jeffress gave Suarez 26 this season and nine in his past 17 games. Seven of his 26 homers have come against the Brewers.
“We get to see him every day,” Reds manager David Bell said of Suarez. “He’s just turning himself into such a good player and a good hitter. There’s no question, no hesitation on his part to ever want to be up in a big spot like that. He believes in his ability, and he wants to be the guy in that position.”
Suarez has done well against each of the top three teams in the division. He is hitting .388 with five homers against the first-place Chicago Cubs (-1.5) and .278 with two homers against the Cardinals, who moved a half-game ahead of Milwaukee into second place Tuesday.
The Brewers hope to rebound from losing when carrying a lead into the ninth for the first time in 49 such games this year. They also hope to play with more available bench options after Ryan Braun missed Monday’s game to attend the funeral of Los Angeles Angels (+1.5) pitcher Tyler Skaggs and rookie Keston Hiura was a late scratch due to a sore quad.
The Brewers are 5-2 in their past seven games after a 2-8 stretch, and Mike Moustakas and Christian Yelich are wielding hot bats. Moustakas is batting .313 (15-for-48) during a season-high 12-game hitting streak. Yelich is batting .429 (18-for-42) during an 11-game hitting streak.
A day after losing ace Brandon Woodruff for approximately six weeks due to a strained left oblique, the Brewers will start Zach Davies (8-2, 2.79 ERA). Davies ranks fifth in the NL in ERA and has an 0.77 ERA (two earned runs, 23 1/3 innings) in his past four outings.
Davies told reporters of Woodruff, “He’s been flat-out dominating for a good portion of this year, and even in the games that are not his best, they are still good ‘grind’ games when he gives the team a chance to win. I think the starting staff knows the shoes that need to be filled.”
Davies last pitched on Thursday, when he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings with three walks and no strikeouts in Milwaukee’s 5-1 win at Arizona.
The 26-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.02 ERA in 12 career starts against the Reds. He allowed six runs over three innings in his last appearance against Cincinnati, a no-decision on May 22.
The Reds own a 3.70 ERA from their starters and will hope Tanner Roark (5-6, 3.97) can deliver a solid start. Roark has a 7.16 ERA in his past three outings, and he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings in a no-decision against St. Louis last Thursday.
Roark is 5-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 11 career appearances (10 starts) against Milwaukee. He is 1-0 with a 4.24 ERA in three starts against the Brewers this season.
–Field Level Media