(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of skidding teams looking to get on track square off Monday night when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Cincinnati Reds to open a four-game series.
The Brewers have been outscored 25-9 over a five-game skid and are off to just a 2-10 start. They sit last in the NL Central, while the Reds are fourth at 5-7, having lost four in a row and seven of eight.
Milwaukee was handed a 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh on Sunday as the Pirates finished off a three-game sweep. Matt Garza was tagged for all five runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings for the Brewers.
Jean Segura and Jonathan Lucroy each drove in a run in the loss.
"I think we're frustrated quite a bit on both ends, offense and defense," said Garza. "We're putting too much on one play instead of looking at the big process."
The Reds were held to four runs in dropping three straight to the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. That was nearly enough in Sunday's finale, but Cincinnati couldn't get a key hit in a 2-1 loss.
Deadlocked for most of the game, the Cardinals went ahead on Kolten Wong's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Reds left the bases loaded in the top of the frame.
Cincinnati starter Mike Leake had a string of 15 consecutive outs and threw just 86 pitches in his eight innings, including 66 for strikes. He gave up four hits and no walks while striking out three in a complete-game loss.
"You're not going to score runs every day," said Leake. "Gotta keep games close. Unfortunately it was a 2-1 game."
Brennan Boesch and Joey Votto had two hits apiece for the Reds, who were without leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton in the starting lineup as he exited on Saturday with a sore right groin. However, Hamilton could return to the starting lineup tonight.
Cincinnati will look to lend some support to Anthony DeSclafani, who picked up his first victory of the season on Tuesday after logging seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball to beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2. The righty fanned five and walked two.
"I felt pretty good all game and I had everything working," said DeSclafani. "The defense behind me was awesome tonight and really helped out a lot."
DeSclafani, who turned 25 this past Saturday, will make his first career start versus the Brewers. He has faced them once before in relief and allowed a hit over 1 2/3 innings.
The Brewers counter with Wily Peralta, who got a no-decision in his season debut before taking a 4-2 loss versus the Cardinals on Wednesday. He was charged with four runs and 10 hits over five innings.
Peralta, who has struck out just three batters over his first two starts, is 3-3 with a 2.88 earned run average in eight career starts versus Cincinnati.
The Reds were 10-9 versus the Brewers last season, but lost six of nine in Milwaukee.