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Milwaukee Brewers Battle NL Central Leaders for Second Time in a Week

September 10th, 2013 at 11:02 AM
By Phil Watson

Last week, the Milwaukee Brewers hosted the National League Central Division leaders and now head on the road to play the team that is in first place in the division.

Nothing new there, right? Except they are different teams. When the Pittsburgh Pirates were at Miller Park Sept. 2-4, they were in first place in the Central. The Brewers open a three-game series Tuesday night in St. Louis, however, with the Cardinals now holding the top spot in the division.

St. Louis grabbed first place from the Pirates over the weekend with a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh at Busch Stadium, outscoring the Bucs 26-10 in the process.

The Cardinals have dominated the Crew this season, taking 10 of their 13 meetings, including four of the six games at Busch.

Wily Peralta (9-14) starts for the Brewers on Tuesday and he has been lit up twice by the Cardinals this season. Peralta is 0-2 in two starts, allowing 13 runs, 12 earned, and 22 hits in just 9.1 innings.

St. Louis counters with Shelby Miller (12-9), who has owned Milwaukee so far this year. Miller is 2-0 in three starts against the Brewers, allowing just three runs on 13 hits in 18.1 innings, while striking out 21 batters.

On Wednesday night, Milwaukee will go with Marco Estrada (6-4), who has also been hit hard by St. Louis. While Estrada is only 0-1 in four starters, he’s been touched for 19 runs and 28 hits in 21 innings—including four home runs.

St. Louis will start Lance Lynn (13-10) on Wednesday. Lynn is 0-1 against the Brewers in two starts, allowing 10 runs—eight earned—and 17 hits in 11 innings.

In the series finale Thursday, Milwaukee goes with Tyler Thornburg (1-1), who has not faced the Cardinals this year and took a no-decision in his lone career start against them in 2012. The Cards counter with red-hot Joe Kelly, who has won eight straight decisions and is 8-0 in his last 10 starts. Kelly hasn’t started against Milwaukee this season and is 0-1 in three relief appearances, allowing four runs and six hits in three innings.

The Crew hopes to have outfielder Khris Davis back. He sat out the three-game series at Chicago over the weekend with soreness in his left wrist, but he is 6-for-14 against the Cardinals this season. Aramis Ramirez has also hit the Cards well, 11-for-26 this year with four homers and 11 RBI, while Norichika Aoki is hitting .396 against St. Louis (19-for-48).

On the other end of the scale, Martin Maldonado is just 4-for-25 against the Cardinals, while Yuniesky Betancourt is 9-for-39.

For the Cardinals, Yadier Molina is 20-for-52 with a couple of home runs, Jon Jay is hitting .356 against the Crew (16-for-45) and has a team-high 12 RBI against Milwaukee and David Freese is 15-for-44 with a homer.

Daniel Descalso has struggled against the Brewers, going 3-for-22 and Matt Carpenter, who leads the NL with 174 hits, is just a .213 hitter against Milwaukee (10-for-47).

Game time for all three matchups is 7:15 p.m. Central Time and all of the games will be carried regionally on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

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Tags: Busch Stadium, Khris Davis, Marco Estrada, Milwaukee, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, St. Louis, Tyler Thornburg, Wily Peralta

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