Carlos Gomez and Norichika Aoki will be back in their familiar spots in center and right field Friday night when the Milwaukee Brewers open a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.
Gomez missed six consecutive games after spraining his right knee making a leaping catch of a drive hit by Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips on Aug. 15. Aoki, meanwhile, was held out of Wednesday’s series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals as he’d been bothered by patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
The Reds lead the season series with the Brewers 8-5 this season, including a 5-1 mark in Cincinnati. The Reds swept a three-game set at Great American Ballpark May 10-12 and took two of three from the Brewers June 14-16.
On Friday night, Yovani Gallardo will make his second start since returning from a strained left hamstring. On Saturday, Gallardo shut out the Reds for 6.1 innings on three hits in Milwaukee’s 2-0 win. Gallardo is 9-9 with a career-worst 4.68 ERA and 1.448 WHIP in 134.2 innings over 24 starts this season, but he has pitched well against Cincinnati this season. He’s made three starts against the Reds and is 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 1.224 WHIP in 16.1 innings, with 13 strikeouts.
On Saturday, the Brewers will start Wily Peralta, who is 8-13 in 26 starts with a 4.60 ERA and 1.433 WHIP in 148.2 innings. Peralta shut out the Reds at Miller Park on July 9, tossing a three-hitter for his first career complete game and shutout, but was lit up on Sunday by Cincinnati, allowing seven runs and eight hits in just 4.1 innings. He’s 1-3 in four starts against the Reds this year with a 5.11 ERA and 1.419 WHIP in 24.2 innings, so outside of the shutout the Reds have been a tough matchup this year for the 24-year-old Dominican in his first full big-league season.
Sunday’s starters is scheduled to be Marco Estrada, who is 5-4 with a 4.80 ERA and 1.251 WHIP in 86.1 innings over 15 starts. He is 1-0 with two no-decisions in three starts since coming off the disabled list Aug. 7. He missed more than two months with a hamstring injury, but has been better since coming back, with a 2.65 ERA and 0.823 WHIP in 17 innings. Estrada hasn’t faced the Reds this year and took a no-decision against the Cardinals on Monday, allowing four runs on eight hits over six innings in a game the Brewers would eventually lose 8-5.
Khris Davis comes into the series swinging a hot bat. He’s hit in eight straight games, notching a .444 average with three homers and seven runs scored. He was 6-for-11 last weekend against the Reds.
Cincinnati is scheduled to counter with Homer Bailey (8-10) on Friday, Bronson Arroyo (12-9) Saturday and rookie Tony Cingrani (6-3) on Sunday. Friday and Saturday games are scheduled for 6:10 p.m. Central Time and Sunday’s series finale gets under way at 12:10 p.m. The entire series will be carried regionally on Fox Sports Wisconsin.
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