Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey has had a week and a half to recover from a strained right knee that knocked him out of his last start, though it’s taking him longer to repair his career numbers against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The right-hander will try to continue doing so Tuesday night at Miller Park as the Reds seek an end to a seven-game road losing streak.
Bailey (8-5, 4.21 ERA) is 4-8 with a 4.96 ERA in 19 career starts against Milwaukee, though that ERA was above 6.00 prior to last season’s All-Star break. He’s been better in six outings since, going 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA – including 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA in three this season.
Khris Davis is 7 for 15 with three home runs and two doubles off Bailey while Rickie Weeks is 14 for 27 with two homers.
Bailey’s last outing ended without a decision in a 6-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs on July 10, in which he surrendered three runs and two hits over five innings.
The Reds (51-48), who have totaled 10 runs in their last seven away from home, are on their longest road slide since an eight-game losing streak April 9-27, 2013. Of more immediate concern, they’ve gone 1 for 28 with runners in scoring position in dropping all four games since the All-Star break after going 0 for 6 in Monday’s 5-2 loss.
"There were some things that if they would have happened slightly different, they could have changed the outcome of the game," manager Bryan Price said. "But, we didn’t earn a win today."
The Brewers (55-45), who kept alive their run of having at least a share of first place since April 5, are now in position to win their first series against the Reds this season after going 3-7 in the previous three. They won for the third time in five games but just the fourth time in 17, and their last series win of any kind came with three of four against Colorado from June 26-29.
Ryan Braun went 2 for 4 with two RBIs Monday to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He had been 2 for 24 in his previous seven contests against the Reds.
On the mound, Milwaukee looks to Jimmy Nelson for a bounce-back effort.
Nelson (1-1, 5.40 ERA) was outstanding in Triple-A between his two big-league starts this season, but his most recent stint with the Brewers began poorly in a 10-2 loss to St. Louis on July 12. The right-hander allowed eight runs in 4 1-3 innings.
"It’s very frustrating. That’s all on me," Nelson told MLB’s official website. "Three things I didn’t do: I didn’t get ahead of hitters, I fell behind a lot of guys; I didn’t execute my pitches, left too many balls up and I know when that happens, no matter what level you’re at, you’re going to get hit."
His only career outing against Cincinnati was a perfect inning of relief Sept. 14.
Reds right fielder Jay Bruce, in an 0-for-15 slump, got Monday off. His season against Milwaukee hasn’t been much better with a 6-for-34 mark.
Billy Hamilton, who has six home runs in his 107-game career, went deep for the fourth time in six games against Milwaukee. His last four have come against the Brewers.