Brewers, Braves looking to regroup in Milwaukee


Two teams eager to turn the page will meet on Friday when the Milwaukee Brewers begin a three-game series against the visiting Atlanta Braves.

Milwaukee was held to five hits in Thursday’s 2-0 loss to St. Louis and has dropped eight of its past 11 games. Atlanta, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back from one of its toughest losses of the season.

The Braves allowed five runs over the final two innings of Thursday’s 8-4 loss to Toronto and also received a scare when star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. limped off the field in the seventh inning.

Acuna, who belted his major league-leading 12th home run in the first inning, fell to the ground after running through first base. X-rays were negative, and he’s listed as day-to-day.

Atlanta will be happy to move forward after finishing the season series against Toronto with an 0-6 record. The team’s bullpen struggled on Thursday, when A.J. Minter yielded a game-tying double in the eighth and closer Will Smith allowed hits to five of the six batters he faced in a four-run ninth.

Milwaukee is also looking to regroup after dropping two of three against St. Louis while going 2-for-31 with runners in scoring position.

One bright spot has been the play of outfielder Avisail Garcia, who is batting .421 (16-for-38) with two homers and 10 RBIs in his last 13 games.

“When he’s locked in, it’s pulling the ball in the air, getting some mistakes and pulling them in the air,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s swinging it well and in a good place.”

The Brewers are hoping for another strong outing from right-hander Adrian Houser (3-3, 3.44 ERA), who turned in his best performance of the young season last Saturday against Miami.

The 28-year-old allowed two runs with no walks over six innings while matching a career high with 10 strikeouts in the 6-2 win over the Marlins. He also homered off Daniel Castano for the second time this season.

Marcell Ozuna is 2-for-8 against Houser, who is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two career games (one start) against the Braves.

Atlanta starter Drew Smyly (1-2, 6.12) turned in an encouraging outing against Washington on May 6, when he allowed one unearned run on four hits over six innings in a 3-2 victory.

The 31-year-old had a 10.38 ERA with eight homers allowed in his previous three starts covering 13 innings, but he came out sharp against the Nationals.

“You know, there’s so many highs and lows in this game and streaks and slumps,” Smyly said. “It definitely feels good just to get back in the winning circle and then help the guys win.”

Lorenzo Cain in 4-for-10 with a home run against the left-hander, who is making his first career appearance against Milwaukee.

Atlanta struck out 15 times in Thursday’s loss but saw second baseman Ozzie Albies extend his on-base streak to 16 consecutive games with a first-inning single.

The Braves are monitoring the status of outfielder Cristian Pache, who exited Thursday’s game with right hamstring tightness.

The 22-year-old rookie has just three hits in 33 at-bats since being recalled on May 1.

–Field Level Media

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