Preview: Brewers at Reds

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Wade Miley throws during the second inning of the team's baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Cody Reed expected this back in April, but he had to wait until August for it to happen.

Finally, the Cincinnati Reds are showing confidence in the left-hander, who was expected to be one of their four young starting pitchers this season but lasted only one start in that role.

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With the way runs are piling up in their series against the contending Milwaukee Brewers, the Reds probably could use a fresh arm on the mound.

Reed (0-1, 3.68 ERA) appeared in four games, including one start, for Cincinnati in April, before being shipped back to make 17 starts at Triple-A Louisville. He rejoined the Reds earlier this month and has a 2.79 ERA in seven relief appearances.

Now, Reed is getting the chance to start again and will take on Brewers left-hander Wade Miley (2-2, 2.32) in the final game of the three-game National League Central series Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

Regardless of who is on the mound, look for some runs to be scored — there were a combined 41 runs scored in the first two games, starting with the Reds’ 9-7 victory Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, Christian Yelich went 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle, and the Brewers overcame a four-run deficit to stay in the lead for the second NL wild-card berth with a 13-12 victory in 10 innings. Jesus Aguilar hit a long solo homer to center and Erik Kratz later added an RBI single in a two-run 10th, allowing Milwaukee to withstand Brandon Dixon’s solo homer in the bottom of the 10th.

“It was one the craziest games I’ve ever been a part of,” Yelich told Fox Sports Wisconsin. “I don’t know how to describe it, honestly. It was nuts. A lot of stuff happened I’ve never seen before in a baseball game.

“It was huge for us; we needed that win. Credit to the guys for staying with it, battling and pulling it out. It was huge.”

The Reds couldn’t win despite scoring four times against Brewers All-Star reliever Josh Hader and getting four homers, including reliever Michael Lorenzen’s three-run drive — his fourth of the season — and Eugenio Suarez’s two-run shot. Billy Hamilton of the Reds went 4-for-5 and Mike Moustakas of the Brewers was 4-for-6, and each homered.

Yelich’s cycle — a single, double, triple and homer — was the second in the majors this season; Mookie Betts had one one for the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 9. But Yelich’s cycle was the first to be combined with a 6-for-6 performance since Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers did it in 2009.

Milwaukee is 10-5 against Cincinnati this season.

Now, it’s Reed’s turn to face the Brewers. Reed is 1-9 with the Reds over the last three seasons, making 12 starts, but was given the chance to start again after the team decided to move right-handers Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson to the bullpen.

Reed liked how interim manager Jim Riggleman used him in several high-leverage situations following his Aug. 13 recall from Louisville, and he has pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his last four appearances.

Riggleman called on Reed to face Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs with one out and the bases loaded Friday, despite Rizzo being 2-for-6 against him with two home runs. Reed got Rizzo to ground into a double play, although the Cubs went on to win 3-2 in 10 innings.

“I stuck my hand out (to Riggleman) and said, ‘I appreciate you calling on me in that moment because this time last year and in my first year in ’16, that never would have happened,’ ” Reed told the team’s website. “I think it makes me more confident that he’s confident bringing me into that situation. As soon as the phone was ringing when (Matt) Harvey got into that little jam, I was thinking, ‘Please be me.’

“A definite confidence boost that the manager has the belief in you in that moment.”

It doesn’t hurt that Reed is left-handed.

“His last few starts in Louisville indicated he’s moving in the right direction,” Riggleman said. “All things being equal, we’d like to have one left-hander in the rotation, at least. You’re not going to force that to happen. … Hopefully Cody would fit in there.”

Reed is 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in eight carrer appearances, including one start, against Cincinnati, and he has not allowed any runs over 2 2/3 innings in his four appearances against the Reds this season.

Miley is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA in eight career starts against Cincinnati, including a 3-1 win at Great American Ball Park on May 2. In that game, he gave up one run and three hits in six innings in his first start of the season. Miley missed more than a month with a groin injury sustained during spring training.