The Milwaukee Brewers can sweep their first series of the season as they close out a three-game set with the Cincinnatti Reds.
The last-place Brewers entered the series with a five-game losing streak, but have erupted for 20 runs in the first two games, putting them within reach of their first three-game winning sweep since taking three in a row from the Reds from Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
It was the Brewers’ first game-winning homer since Richie Sexson connected off Houston’s Mike Jackson on Sept. 1, 2001.
“Eddie might not be the greatest hitter in the National League,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “But he’s a tremendously good clutch hitter and he just has a knack for having big hits when you need it most.”
The Brewers have already scored more runs in this series than they did during their entire five-game losing streak (16).
Milwaukee starter Reuben Quevedo will try to post his first win in seven starts since last July 20, while beating the Reds for the first time in his career. In six appearances, including five starts, against the Cincinnati, Quevedo is 0-4 with a 4.56 ERA.
“I feel good,” Quevedo said Saturday. “I haven’t pitched in five days and I’ve been working hard in the bullpen, trying to get my pitches to go where I want them to.”
The Reds have dropped three straight since winning eight of nine.
On Saturday, Adam Dunn continued his torrid power hitting with his major league-leading 16th homer for Cincinnati. Dunn has six homers and 12 RBIs in his last six games, and each of his last six hits have been homers.
STANDINGS: Reds - 4th place, 4 1/2 GB, NL Central. Brewers - 6th place, 10 1/2 GB, NL Central.
REDS PROBABLE STARTER: Paul Wilson (2-3, 5.12 ERA) The 6-foot-5 right-hander has won two of his last three decisions after going 0-2 in his first four starts. In his last outing, a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday, Wilson earned his first road victory of the season, allowing two runs and eight hits over six innings. In three road starts, Wilson is 1-2 with a 10.13 ERA. Wilson is making his first career appearance against the Brewers.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Quevedo (0-1, 5.84 ERA) In his last outing, a 7-2 setback to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, the righty lost his career-high fifth straight decision, allowing six runs and 10 hits over 6 1-3 innings. Quevedo went 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Indianapolis before being called up on May 1.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Reds - Jose Guillen, .318 avg.; Dunn, 16 HRs; Austin Kearns, 36 RBIs; Aaron Boone, 30 runs and 7 SBs. Brewers - Alex Sanchez, .281 avg.; Richie Sexson, 14 HRs, 29 RBIs and 33 runs; Eric Young, 10 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Brewers, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Reds - SS Barry Larkin returned to the lineup for the first time Saturday since reinjuring his left calf Tuesday. … OF Kearns has hit in 12 straight games, a season-high for the Reds. … The Reds have suffered one sweep this season, dropping three to Pittsburgh from March 31-April 2 to open the year. Brewers - The Brewers are 2-4 on their 13-game homestand. … Milwaukee hasn’t won three straight home games this season. … SS Royce Clayton has one hit in his last eight games. He’s 1-for-28 (.035) over the stretch.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Reds - 8-13 on the road; Brewers - 7-15 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.