(SportsNetwork.com) - Homer Bailey will attempt to shake off some more rust on Thursday afternoon and pitch the Cincinnati Reds to their first four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers in 13 years.
Bailey opened the season on the disabled list due to September elbow surgery and struggled in his season debut on Saturday. In a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, he allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings. Bailey also did not strike out a batter.
"Early on, I felt I made some pretty good pitches that got hit," Bailey said. "It does feel good to get back out there."
The 28-year-old righty is under .500 for his career versus the Brewers, going 4-8 with a 4.94 earned run average in 20 starts.
The Brewers hope that veteran Kyle Lohse can put his early-season struggles behind him today and avoid an 0-4 start.
Lohse has pitched a 10.34 ERA while losing his first three outings of the campaign. His last two setbacks came against Pittsburgh, including a 6-2 road loss on Saturday. The right-hander was charged with six runs on six hits and three walks over six innings.
Over his three outings, Lohse has allowed 24 hits, with four of those home runs.
The 36-year-old will try to turn things around against a Reds, a team he is 7-5 against lifetime with a 2.69 ERA in 20 starts.
Cincinnati had lost four in a row coming into this series, but can sweep the Brewers in four games for the first time since May 13-16, 2002 in Milwaukee. The Reds put themselves in position for the sweep with last night's 2-1 victory.
Johnny Cueto and Jimmy Nelson each went eight innings for their respective teams, but it was Francisco Rodriguez's miscue in the ninth that cost Milwaukee.
With two outs and Billy Hamilton on third base, Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Hamilton to score his second run of the game, despite nearly running into the home plate umpire.
"I tried my best not to run over somebody, or hurt him or hurt myself," Hamilton said.
Cueto allowed just one run on five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts, and Aroldis Chapman earned his fourth save.
Nelson came away with nothing to show for his outing after allowing just one run on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. The Brewers had gone nine straight games without a quality start before Nelson's outing.
However, Milwaukee has lost eight in a row and is just 2-13 to begin the season.
"We have to fight through it," Rodriguez said. "We have to compete every single day."
The Reds were 10-9 versus the Brewers last season, but lost six of nine in Milwaukee.