Cincinnati Reds (51-48) at Milwaukee Brewers (55-45), 8:10 p.m. (ET)
07/21/2014 10:36 AM
07/22/2014 10:40 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - If Homer Bailey's right knee heals the same way his fortunes against the Milwaukee Brewers have, the Cincinnati Reds will surely be pleased.
The right-hander faces the Brewers for the 20th time in his big-league career on Tuesday night, when the Reds visit Miller Park for game two of a three-game series against Milwaukee.
Bailey is just 4-8 with a 4.21 earned run average in those first 19 meetings, but he's brought the ERA down from above 6.00 in the last 12 months. In fact, in six starts since last year's All-Star break, he's 3-1 against Milwaukee with a far-more-palatable 3.12 ERA.
In three meetings this season, the record is 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA.
His last start ended in caution for the Reds, however, as he was forced to leave after five innings with a right knee strain after giving up three runs and two hits against the Chicago Cubs.
The Reds have lost seven in a row on the road while scoring just 10 runs. It's their longest road drought since April 2013 and has seen them go just 1-for-28 with runners in scoring position while dropping four in a row since the All- Star break.
Monday's loss dropped them 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Brewers in the National League's Central Division.
"There were some things that if they would have happened slightly different, they could have changed the outcome of the game," manager Bryan Price said. "But, we didn't earn a win."
Milwaukee had been 3-7 in its first 10 games with the Reds in 2014, and it maintained a stretch of having complete or shared possession of the top spot in the division every day since April 5.
The Brewers send youngster Jimmy Nelson to the mound for his third start.
He made a start earlier this season before a stint in Triple-A, then returned for an eight-run drubbing across 4 1/3 innings of a 10-2 loss to St. Louis on July 12.
His lone meeting with the Reds ended in a scoreless inning of relief last September.
On Monday, Ryan Braun drove in a pair of runs as the Brewers grabbed a 5-2 win over the Reds.
Carlos Gomez went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Jean Segura also scored twice for the Brewers, who moved a half-game ahead of idle St. Louis for first place.
Wily Peralta (11-6) allowed a run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts over seven innings of work.
"He made some big pitches when he needed to," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Kristopher Negron and Billy Hamilton each hit a solo home run for the Reds. Mat Latos (2-2) was touched for five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits with three strikeouts in seven innings on the mound.
"(Latos) pitched OK, but we didn't help him out a lot," Price said.
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