He hopes to begin turning things around when the Brewers resume a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park.
Rusch is coming off his shortest—and worst—outing of the season, allowing eight runs and 13 hits over 3 1-3 innings in Monday’s 11-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The loss was Rusch’s fourth in as many starts.
He is 0-6 with an 8.36 ERA since beating Pittsburgh on April 8. Rusch became only the second Brewers pitcher to allow 13 hits since the club moved to the National League in 1998.
“He’s just making too many mistakes,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said of Rusch.
Pitching at hitter-friendly Miller Park hasn’t helped. Rusch is 0-3 with a 12.71 ERA in three starts at home this year.
“I’m just not making good pitches,” Rusch said. “There’s no way around it. They’re not good pitches. They’re up in the zone and catching too much of the plate.”
Milwaukee opened the series with a 12-3 rout of Cincinnati on Friday.
The Brewers responded well after striking out a record 24 times in a 17-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday as Wes Helms went 4-for-5, including a grand slam, in the win.
The Reds dropped their second straight despite Adam Dunn homering in his fifth consecutive game.
Cincinnati, which took two of three from Milwaukee last weekend, is 8-2 in its last 10 games at Miller Park dating to last year.
STANDINGS: Reds - 4th place, 3 1/2 GB, NL Central. Brewers - 6th place, 10 1/2 GB, NL Central.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeff Austin (2-1, 4.44 ERA). The right-hander is attempting to win his second game against Milwaukee in a week. He beat the Brewers on Sunday, allowing four runs, six hits and striking out a season-high seven over seven innings in a 7-5 victory.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Rusch (1-7, 7.36 ERA). Rusch is 1-3 with a 7.09 ERA in five career starts against Cincinnati.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Jose Guillen, .333 avg.; Dunn, 15 HRs; Austin Kearns, 35 RBIs and 28 runs; Aaron Boone, 7 SBs. Brewers - Alex Sanchez, .278 avg.; Richie Sexson, 14 HRs, 28 RBIs and 29 runs; Eric Young, 8 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 2-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - OF Dunn is 3-for-10 in his career against LHP Rusch, with two home runs and six RBIs. … Left-handed batters are hitting .108 against RHP Austin this season. … 1B Sean Casey is 1-for-9 in his career against LHP Rusch. Brewers - SS Royce Clayton snapped an 0-for-24 streak with an eighth-inning single on Friday. … CF Sanchez hasn’t played since Monday because Yost wants him to realize he has to work harder to take full advantage of his natural talents, including his fantastic speed. But Sanchez has been less than impressive with his work ethic since the demotion, stumping the Brewers, who might even consider waiving him. … The Brewers are considering closing off the upper deck at 3-year-old Miller Park because of lagging attendance, although Rick Schlesinger, vice president of business operations, said: “It’s really a remote possibility.”
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 8-12 on the road; Brewers - 6-15 at home.
INJURIES: Reds - OF Russell Branyan (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jimmy Haynes (back), 15-day DL; RHP Luke Prokopec (shoulder), 60-day DL. Brewers - OF Jeffrey Hammonds (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Valerio De Los Santos (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Jayson Durocher (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (elbow), 15-day DL.