Milton has been terrible for the Reds this season, his first after signing a $25.5 million, three-year contract over the winter.
The veteran left-hander is 3-7 with a 7.06 ERA and has been serving up home runs at an alarming rate, allowing 21 in 12 starts after allowing a major-league high 43 last season. He’s given up at least one homer in nine straight starts.
No matter how Milton fares Wednesday, he’ll have a tough time topping teammate Randy Keisler’s effort from Tuesday.
Keisler homered and doubled as Cincinnati rallied from a five-run deficit for a 9-7 victory. The veteran left-hander struck out a career-high eight in 6 1-3 innings of relief—the longest outing by a Reds reliever in 15 years.
Keisler hit his first major league homer and a double in his first two at-bats, jump-starting the offense with his smooth left-handed swing.
“I tell these guys that these pitchers can hit,” Devil Rays catcher Toby Hall said. “That guy had a Griffey swing.”
Carl Crawford’s three-run homer highlighted a six-run second inning for Tampa Bay.
The Reds got the better of a matchup of last-place teams—Tampa Bay is in the basement of the AL East, Cincinnati in the NL Central. The Devil Rays have lost eight of nine, falling to 4-24 on the road this season.
Both teams have the same problem. The Reds are second-to-last in pitching in the NL, the Devils Rays second-to-last in the AL.
“We squandered a 6-1 lead quickly,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “Our pitching’s got to get better. We scored enough runs. We just can’t make them hold.”