Brewers turn to Marcum in middle test with Reds
(Sports Network) - Set to play the second contest of a three-game series against the NL Central-champion Cincinnati Reds, the Milwaukee Brewers turn to Shaun Marcum on Wednesday evening in an effort to keep their fading playoff chances alive.
Marcum is 5-4 with a 3.86 earned run average in 19 starts this season and has made six starts since returning from a two-month stint on the disabled list. He is 0-1 since his return, leaving him without a victory since June 8.
The right-hander, though, is coming off his best outing in some time as he held the Washington Nationals to a pair of runs on four hits over six innings. He did not walk a batter, but still earned his fifth straight no-decision.
The 30-year-old Marcum is aiming for his first victory over the Reds, who he is 0-1 against lifetime with a 4.08 ERA in three starts.
Milwaukee suffered its third loss in four games in Tuesday's opener, falling 4-2 to drop 4 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL's second wild card spot with eight games to play. The Brewers had won six in a row and nine of 10 before their 1-3 stumble.
"It's certainly looking a lot tougher," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of his team's postseason chances. "We're gonna have to get some big-time help."
Cincinnati, meanwhile, saw Dioner Navarro drive in a pair of runs and Johnny Cueto hurled seven solid innings to push the Reds into a tie with the NL East- leading Washington Nationals for the best record in baseball. Both clubs are 93-61.
Joey Votto and Jay Bruce each drove in a run for the Reds, who have won six of eight.
"Washington has a good team and so do we, so we'll see what happens," said Bruce.
Cincinnati has won six of its seven home games versus Milwaukee this season.
The Reds will start Bronson Arroyo, who hurled eight solid innings versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday and did not factor into a 3-1 loss. The righty yielded a run on six hits without a walk and added a run-scoring single in the fifth frame.
"He pitched ahead of the hitters and with everything. We've seen that many, many times. It was a great performance. It was just one of those things where we just couldn't get any runs for him," Reds acting manager Chris Speier said of Arroyo.
The 35-year-old Arroyo is 12-8 with a 3.63 ERA in 30 starts this season, including 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four versus the Brewers.
Speier continues to manage the club in place of Dusty Baker, who revealed on Tuesday that he suffered a mini-stroke during his stay at a Chicago hospital last week while being treated for an irregular heartbeat.
Baker has since been released and is expected to make a full recovery. He could return to his manager duties before the end of the regular season.
09/26 10:59:03 ET