The Cincinnati Reds’ hopes of gaining on the division-leading Brewers ride with right-hander Luis Castillo on Wednesday in the middle game of a crucial series at Milwaukee.
The Brewers stretched their National League Central lead over the second-place Reds to 8 1/2 games with a 7-4 comeback victory in the series opener on Tuesday night.
After being held to one run by Tyler Mahle through 5 2/3 innings, the Brewers erased a 4-1 deficit against five Cincinnati relievers.
“We got to their bullpen, made them work to get the last 10, 11 outs, made them go through a lot of their bullpen guys,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Any time you can make a team, after a good start from their starter, use a bunch of bullpen guys and come out with a win — especially the first game of a series — that’s a satisfying win because you hope you took a little piece of their bullpen out of it, as well.”
Castillo (7-12, 4.35 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Brandon Woodruff (7-7, 2.48), who is looking for his first victory in almost two months.
Although among the NL leaders in ERA, Woodruff is coming off one of his worst outings of the season, when he allowed six runs on eight hits in five innings in an 8-4 loss at St. Louis on Thursday. He has not won in eight starts since the beginning of July, those his ERA in those outings is a respectable 3.86.
Woodruff is 3-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 10 career games, including eight starts, against the Reds. He is 0-0 with a 1.54 ERA in two starts this season vs. Cincinnati.
Castillo will be making his sixth start this season against the Brewers, against whom he is 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He is 4-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 16 career starts vs. Milwaukee.
In his latest outing, Castillo allowed just one run in seven innings in a 6-1 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday. He is 4-2 with a 3.15 ERA over his past nine starts.
Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said the Tuesday defeat was a tough way to open the series, the last of the regular season between the teams.
“Any loss is, especially this point of the year to a really good team that we’re trying to chase down,” Barnhart said. “Had the lead there, they put some good at-bats together and grinded out some runs. What we did earlier on in the game to them, they (flipped) the script on us.
“That’s a good team, man. Credit to those guys. Just looking forward to playing (Wednesday).”
Milwaukee is expected to be without shortstop Willy Adames, who exited the Tuesday game with left quad discomfort after doubling and scoring in the first inning.
“He won’t be in the lineup (Wednesday),” Counsell said. “We’ll try to quiet it down. We’re on the cautious side. He’s played through it so far, but it’s just to the point where it’s not worth taking the risk on it.”
Milwaukee is 56-26 since acquiring Adames from Tampa Bay on May 21. He is hitting .295 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs with the Brewers.
The Brewers, who already have All-Star right-hander Freddy Peralta on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, placed third baseman Eduardo Escobar on the IL on Tuesday due to a strained right hamstring.
Escobar is hitting .280 with two homers, four doubles and eight RBIs in 21 games with Milwaukee since being acquired from Arizona prior to the trade deadline.
Reds reliever Tejay Antone, activated earlier in the day off the injured list, was forced to exit after throwing just five pitches. He had been sidelined since late June due to a strained right forearm.
“He definitely felt something in his elbow,” Reds manager David Bell said postgame. “Obviously very concerning. I don’t even know that he’s had a full exam yet.”
–Field Level Media