Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Brewers host Cardinals, aim to lock down NL Central

Field Level Media
26 Sep 2023, 07:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports)

The Milwaukee Brewers will turn to right-hander Adrian Houser as they try to clinch the NL Central title at home against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday in the opener of the three-game series.

Houser (7-4, 4.35 ERA) will be opposed by left-hander Zack Thompson (5-7, 4.57 ERA) in a rematch oflast Wednesday's starters in a game won by Milwaukee 8-2.

The Brewers lead the Chicago Cubs by six games with six to play. Milwaukee can clinch its fourth NL Central title, and first since 2021, with a victory or a Cubs loss. Chicago opens a three-game series against NL East champion Atlanta on Tuesday before closing the regular season with three games in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee (88-68) has clinched a playoff spot, but missed a chance to secure the division title on the road, dropping two straight at Miami, including a 6-1 loss on Sunday. Brewers starter Freddy Peralta, who was 6-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his previous 10 starts, was battling a recent illness and lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on nine hits.

"There's no reason to be disappointed right now," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We put ourselves in a great position. There's no reason to be disappointed."

With Sunday's loss, the Brewers are 74-16 when scoring four runs or more, and 14-52 when scoring three or fewer. Milwaukee, 23-11 in its past 34 games, is 6-4 this season vs. St Louis.

In their four losses to St. Louis this season, the Brewers have scored a total of one run, being shut out three times.

St. Louis lost at San Diego 12-2 on Sunday. The Cardinals (68-88) are last in the NL Central, 20 games behind Milwaukee.

"We have quite a bit of young guys out there today and every day," Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. "So, you're going to have games that look like this, unfortunately."

Houser will be making his third start since coming off the 15-day injured list (right elbow effusion). He is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last two outings, allowing three runs over 11 innings.

Houser is 4-1 with a 4.19 ERA over his past seven starts. He allowed one run in six innings in last week's win over St. Louis.

"He got locked in and threw six good innings," Counsell said after Houser's last start, which included nine ground-ball outs. "That's when you know it's good. That's right out of his playbook that has success for him."

He is 5-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 15 career appearances, including 12 starts, against the Cardinals.

Thompson took the loss against Milwaukee in his last start, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings, including a three-run homer in the first inning to Josh Donaldson.

Thompson is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA in five games against Milwaukee, including one start. He has not allowed a run in 3 2/3 innings in three relief appearances at American Family Field.

- Field Level Media

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