BREWERS (57-53) AT CUBS (57-51)
2:20 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, MLBN, FSWI, MLB.TV
Following his stellar start to the season and a return to form last month, Milwaukee Brewers (+1.5) right-hander Zach Davies is struggling again.
Davies will try to end his latest skid when he takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series at the Chicago Cubs (-1.5) on Friday afternoon.
Davies (8-4, 3.56 ERA) was 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA through his first nine starts this season, had his first rough outing May 22 against the Cincinnati Reds (+1.5) and then saw his ERA balloon in June.
He bounced back by allowing just one earned run in 18 innings over his first three starts in July, but has been bombed in his past two appearances, both at home.
Davies allowed seven runs (six earned) and nine hits in four innings of a 14-6 loss to the Reds on July 23, and seven runs on four hits in five innings of an 11-4 loss to the Cubs on Sunday.
He’ll face a Chicago team that dropped its third straight three-game series, as the Cardinals strolled to an 8-0 win at St. Louis on Thursday.
Davies will try to rediscover the success he had against the Cubs in his first two starts this season, when he gave up one earned run in 12 innings. He has faced the Cubs more than any other major-league team, owning an overall record of 6-6 and an ERA of 3.65 in 16 starts.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana (8-7, 4.47) will also make his second straight start against the same team and fourth appearance against Milwaukee overall this season.
Quintana was matched against Davies in his last outing and allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings. He took a 7-0 lead into the fifth inning, but the first three batters reached and all scored before manager Joe Maddon removed Quintana one out shy of qualifying for the victory.
“It was Joe’s decision, and I respect that,” Quintana told reporters afterward. “But I control that, for sure.”
Quintana is 0-2 against the Brewers overall this season, which includes his poorest outing of the year in a 13-10 loss in Milwaukee on April 5. He allowed eight runs and eight hits, including three homers, in three innings.
In his career, he’s had good overall success against the Brewers, owning a 6-4 mark and 2.80 ERA.
Quintana will try to shut down a Milwaukee offense led by right fielder Christian Yelich, who is riding a career-long 19-game hitting streak.
He went 1-for-5 with a double and run scored in a 5-3 loss at the Oakland A’s on Thursday afternoon.
The Brewers carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth and had All-Star reliever Josh Hader on the mound, but he gave up a two-run homer to Matt Chapman before the A’s tacked on another run in the eighth and took the rubber game of the three-game series.
A bright spot for Milwaukee was the major-league debut of Trent Grisham, a first-round pick of the Brewers in 2015.
He started in center field and drove in his first major league run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
Grisham struggled his first few years in the minors before reconfiguring his swing and finding success.
“With that, I started playing better and better and I just got more and more confidence,” Grisham told reporters after his recall. “And now that’s really what I’m relying on — confidence in myself and just going out there and playing.”
–Field Level Media