Brewers, aiming to extend home win streak, battle Reds

MLB Baseball

The Brewers’ play at home over the past month is a big reason Milwaukee owns a rather comfortable lead over the second-place Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central.

Looking for a season-high eighth consecutive home victory, the Brewers hope to put even more distance between themselves and the Reds on Friday night.

On June 1, Milwaukee was a disappointing 13-15 at home and struggling to find consistency. Since then, the Brewers are 14-3 at American Family Field and playing with plenty of confidence.

After pushing its division lead over Cincinnati to seven games with a 5-3 victory Thursday, Milwaukee has a chance to win eight in a row at home for the first time since 2013.

“As much as anything, when we think about this series, we have a chance to finish (before) the (All-Star) break on a good note,” manager Craig Counsell said.

The Reds won six of their first seven games in July. On Thursday, they saw their five-game winning streak at Milwaukee come to an end.

The Brewers’ scheduled Friday starter, Eric Lauer (3-3, 4.11 ERA), allowed six runs, seven hits and eight walks over nine innings in two outings — one start — against the Reds last month. He is 1-3 with a 4.80 ERA in seven career games vs. Cincinnati.

The left-hander has yielded one run and six hits over 12 1/3 innings to win his last two starts, vs. the Colorado Rockies and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Reds are slated to counter with Wade Miley (6-4, 3.06 ERA), who will face the Brewers for the first time this season. He is 3-2 with a 5.92 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against Milwaukee.

The veteran left-hander has not earned a decision in his past four starts, but he is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA over an eight-start stretch.

Miley overcame 10 hits to allow just two runs over 6 2/3 innings in the Reds’ 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Milwaukee’s Avisail Garcia is 5-for-15 with two doubles against Miley. He also is hitting .424 (14-for-33) with three home runs and 12 RBIs over his past nine contests overall.

“We’ve just got to keep winning. Keep winning, and stay healthy and do our best,” Garcia told Bally Sports Wisconsin after he hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning Thursday.

Fellow Brewer Luis Urias is 6-for-14 in the past four games after going 0-for-15 in his previous three contests.

With another hit on Thursday, Cincinnati rookie Jonathan India is batting .327 over his past 14 games. India, who continues to play well despite dealing with an ankle issue, is also 2-for-4 with a double against Lauer this season.

“It’s because of how much he wants to play. He loves it, and he’s just become an important player on our team,” Reds manager David Bell said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, about his talented second baseman. “It’s been like that now for a while.”

On the flip side, Cincinnati All-Star Jesse Winker is 2-for-29 (.069) with eight strikeouts over his past seven games.

The Reds and Brewers have split their 10 meetings in 2021.

–Field Level Media

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