Homer Bailey will be tasked with trying to pitch the Cincinnati Reds to a series split with the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday in the finale of a four-game set at Miller Park.
Bailey is 2-0 in his last three starts since a personal four-game losing streak and did not record a decision in Tuesday's 6-4 win against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Bailey gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings and has permitted nine runs in his last two starts. Still, the Reds have won each of his previous three outings.
The right-handed Bailey is 7-10 with a 3.81 earned run average in 24 starts and hasn't fared well in his career against Milwaukee, going 1-7 with a 6.03 ERA in 13 starts. The Brewers beat Bailey back on July 8 in a 4-3 decision and recorded four runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 frames.
Milwaukee got to Reds starter Mat Latos in Saturday's 2-0 win. Latos gave up both runs in seven innings to fall to 12-4 on the season. He struck out six and walked three batters.
"I put myself in a jam earlier in the game and wasn't able to get strike one," Latos said. "Strike one is one of the most important pitches in this game. Fell behind and basically let them hit whatever they want to hit."
Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick had two hits apiece for the Reds, who are still a solid 8-3 in the last 11 games and lead the NL wild card with St. Louis. The Reds are 3 1/2 games off the pace in the NL Central.
After this seven-game road trip (4-2), the Reds will return to Cincinnati for seven straight games versus Arizona and Milwaukee.
Milwaukee has won two in a row and seven of its last 11 games, and used Logan Schafer's two-run double in the fourth inning on Saturday to beat the Reds.
"Huge hit and great job by the two guys in front of him," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Schafer's double. "Logan got the big hit, he needed that. He's been pressing like anybody would and that was a huge hit."
Norichika Aoki finished with two hits for the Brewers, who haven't won three straight since taking that many from the Cubs in late July.
Yovani Gallardo pitched well in the win and fired 6 1/3 scoreless innings, while Brandon Kintzler and Jim Henderson preserved the shutout the rest of the way. Henderson notched his 18th save by striking out three in the ninth.
Wily Peralta gets the start for Milwaukee Sunday and he has lost three of four trips to the mound. Peralta was the hard-luck loser in last Sunday's 2-0 setback at Seattle and gave up both runs in eight innings to fall to 8-12 in 25 starts to go along with a 4.30 earned run average.
Peralta defeated Cincinnati on July 9, tossing a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 win at Miller Park. It was the right-hander's first career shutout and he is 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA in four career starts against the Reds. Peralta's shutout of the Reds was the Brewers' first complete game since Gallardo turned the trick on April 5, 2011, a span of 407 games
The Reds are 7-5 against the Brewers this season.