The Cincinnati Reds have opened a seven-game gap on Arizona for the second wild card spot in the National League.
Even though Cincinnati seems destined for the playoffs and perhaps even an NL Central title, the Reds need to overcome their recent struggles against the Milwaukee Brewers. Milwaukee has won three of the last four meetings, including Friday's 6-4 final when Khris Davis belted a pair of homers and knocked in four runs.
Bronson Arroyo has proven to be a stopper of late, and the Reds hope the veteran right-hander can help them to a victory in the second installment of this three-game set at Great American Ball Park.
Arroyo has won his last three starts and has allowed only four runs in his last 20 innings pitched. He is also working on an active streak of 22 2/3 innings without issuing a walk. He's 14-10 with a 3.70 ERA in his career against the Brewers.
The Reds enter tonight 3 1/2 games behind first-place Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
Wily Peralta, who has dropped back-to-back starts and is 1-4 over his last five appearances, counters for Milwaukee. The righty was shelled to the tune of eight hits and seven runs over 4 1/3 innings of a 9-1 loss to the Reds on Sunday at Miller Park. He's 1-3 in five career games versus Cincinnati.
Last night, Davis belted the go-ahead shot as part of a three-run eighth inning. The rookie is batting .467 (14-of-30) with five homers and nine RBI during his nine-game hitting streak for Milwaukee, which has won two of its last three tilts.
"It's a good feeling because a lot of guys have smiles on their faces," said Davis. "Whatever I can do to help my teammates is amazing because it's about them."
Davis went 6-for-11 with a pair of homers during last weekend's series against the Reds.
Rob Wooten (2-0) fired a perfect seventh to pick up the win.
Brandon Phillips had a homer among his two hits to go along with a pair of runs scored for the Reds, who had won four of their last five contests coming in.
The Reds won eight of the first 13 games with the Brewers in 2013, though the teams spilt a four-game series from Aug. 15-18 in Milwaukee.