Reds-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers have dropped into the NL Central basement and are on the verge of matching their longest losing streak of the season.

Handing the ball to rookie Taylor Jungmann against the Cincinnati Reds could solve both issues.

Jungmann looks to dominate the Reds again and win his fifth consecutive home start Saturday night.

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Milwaukee (62-85) is on its third losing streak of at least seven games this year, dropping eight straight from April 15-22.

The current skid, which includes hitting .163 with runners in scoring position, has moved the Brewers one-half game behind Cincinnati (62-84) into last place.

Milwaukee went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position in Friday's 5-3 series-opening loss.

"We got runners on, we just didn't get that next hit," manager Craig Counsell said. "That was the story of the game."

Jungmann (9-6, 3.05 ERA) has been a pleasant surprise in an otherwise very disappointing season for the Brewers, who likely will lose at least 90 games for the first time since 2004.

The right-hander is 5-2 with a 1.50 ERA in eight starts at Miller Park this year, winning four straight behind a 1.07 ERA.

That stretch includes six innings of a 5-0 win over the Reds on Aug. 28. He also beat them at Cincinnati on July 5, yielding one run in eight innings of a 6-1 victory.

Jungmann, however, wasn't that effective in his last two starts - both on the road - giving up 10 runs and three homers in 9 2-3 innings while losing his only decision.

He's held Joey Votto and Todd Frazier to a combined 2 for 11.

Votto will be back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for his tirade against umpire Bill Welke on Sept. 9. The slugger is hitting .462 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his last 15 road games, including 6 for 10 with a homer and three RBIs in three at Milwaukee.

He has a .426 average while driving in 13 runs in his last 12 games at Miller Park.

Frazier is batting .345 with two homers, two doubles and seven RBIs in seven games there this year. He had an RBI single and a double Friday.

Offensive support would be welcome with Josh Smith (0-2, 7.36) making his fourth career start and first since he was hit hard by the Brewers.

The 28-year-old rookie right-hander was tagged for five runs and walked three in 4 1-3 innings of a 7-3 loss to them on July 4. He also hit four batters, tying a franchise record set by Jake Weimer in 1907 and marking the most in a single game since Livan Hernandez did it with Washington on July 20, 2005.

Smith's performance earned him a demotion to the minors, but he returned to the Reds last week to make a pair of relief appearances. He served up a two-run homer and retired one batter in a 9-2 loss to St. Louis on Sunday.

This is the first three-game series since 1913 that will have rookies starting every game for both teams. Cincinnati is scheduled to start Anthony DeSclafani opposite Milwaukee's Ariel Pena on Sunday.