The Milwaukee Brewers are in last place in the National League Central and have not looked like the most fundamentally sound club recently. The Brewers will try to avoid piling up more errors when they host the Cincinnati Reds for the start of a three-game series on Monday. Milwaukee dropped two of three to the New York Mets over the weekend and had five errors lead to six unearned runs in the two setbacks.
The Reds lost two of three over the weekend to the Seattle Mariners but will feel confident on Monday handing the ball to Homer Bailey, who pitched a no-hitter in his last start. Cincinnati’s offense has been held to three or fewer runs in five of the last seven games and might need another strong effort from Bailey to pull out the win. The Reds are hoping to gain some ground on the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central during their seven-game road trip heading into the All-Star break.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Ohio (Cincinnati), Fox Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Homer Bailey (5-6, 3.57 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Kyle Lohse (4-6, 3.43)
Bailey tossed his second career no-hitter against San Francisco last Tuesday, striking out nine and dialing it up to 97 mph in the ninth inning. The 27-year-old right-hander needed only 109 pitches to make it through that start but was still given an extra day of rest after the Reds had a game postponed. Bailey was knocked around for six runs in seven innings against Milwaukee on June 15 and has never fared well against the Brewers, owning a 1-6 record with a 6.00 ERA in 12 career starts.
Lohse has not lost since May 30 and is coming off a win at Washington in which he allowed one run on four hits while striking out seven in eight innings. The veteran right-hander has surrendered three or fewer runs in each of his last seven turns. The well-traveled Lohse pitched for Cincinnati for parts of the 2006 and 2007 seasons and owns a 3-3 record with a 3.18 ERA in 12 career starts against the Reds.
1. Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez (knee) sat out Sunday and is day-to-day.
2. Reds C Devin Mesoraco has missed the last two games with back spasms and is also day-to-day.
3. Cincinnati has taken five of the first six meetings with Milwaukee.
PREDICTION: Reds 4, Brewers 2