Winning at home has become second nature to Zack Greinke, but the former American League Cy Young winner hasn't had as much luck outside of Milwaukee.
Greinke hopes to give his career road numbers a boost this afternoon and prevent the Brewers from being swept in their three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. .
Greinke has been nothing short of perfect at Miller Park since he joined the Brewers prior to last season. He is 2-0 with a 1.80 earned run average in three home starts this year, improving to 13-0 in his career in Milwaukee's ballpark. The Brewers as a team have won all 18 of his home starts with the club, including a win over the Astros on Monday in which Greinke struck out nine over six frames.
"Zack was good again. He was a little bit off on his command, but threw some great pitches," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Another really good performance from him."
The right-hander, though, went 5-6 with a 4.70 ERA in 13 starts on the road last season and was hammered in his only outing away from Milwaukee so far this season. Greinke faced the Cubs in Chicago back on April 12 and was charged with eight runs on nine hits over just 3 2/3 frames of a loss.
"I know some of the balls were up," Greinke said after his outing versus the Cubs. "With two strikes, I didn't make very good pitches, but besides that, there's not much I thought I could have done differently."
The 28-year-old is 6-3 with a 3.30 ERA in his career versus the Cardinals, beating them at home with seven scoreless innings on April 7 with seven strikeouts.
The Cardinals counter with left-hander Jamie Garcia, who is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA through four starts. That includes a victory over the Brewers the day before Greinke's win, with Garcia giving up two runs over six frames of an 11-5 win. It improved the 25-year-old to 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in nine career games versus the Brewers, all but one of those starts.
Garcia is coming off a touch-luck outing on Monday in Chicago as he did not factor into the decision despite giving up only one run on six hits and a walk over 7 2/3 innings. St. Louis lost 3-2 on a walk-off hit.
The Cardinals won their third straight game by taking Saturday's meeting 7-3. Yadier Molina highlighted a four-hit game with the go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth inning, while Skip Schumaker also drove in two runs.
"I'd say [Molina] had a good day," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "It was a good day offensively for Yadier and quite a few other guys."
Kyle Lohse (4-0) allowed three runs on six hits and four walks through six innings for the Cardinals, while Marco Estrada yielded five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and two walks over six innings in defeat.
Aramis Ramirez had two hits, including a home run, and scored twice for Milwaukee, which dropped its third consecutive game overall and sixth in a row on the road.
In addition to besting the Brewers in six games in last season's NLCS, St. Louis has won 10 of its past 12 over Milwaukee, including four of five so far this year.