Brandon Claussen hopes to take advantage of Cincinnati’s road success as he tries to snap a personal three-game losing streak against the Brewers in the finale of a weekend series with Milwaukee at Miller Park.
The Reds are riding a season-high 10-game road winning streak, including Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Brewers.
Ryan Freel hit a key two-run triple for the Reds, who are enjoying their longest road winning streak since they also went on a 10-game run from June 25-July 15, 1998. It is also the longest road winning streak in the majors this year.
Cincinnati has won five straight overall and is 19-9 since the All-Star break. The Reds won just seven of their first 35 road games this year.
“Considering how well we were playing in the beginning, I think it’s been an unbelievable comeback,” Freel said. “It’s the same team we’ve had all year. We just weren’t able to put it together. Right now, we’re playing as a team and we’re doing everything fundamentally sound.”
Claussen is 0-2 with an 11.74 ERA in two starts against the Brewers this season, and 1-3 with a 9.45 ERA in five career outings. In an 11-4 loss to Milwaukee on Sept. 3, 2004, he was roughed up for eight runs and seven hits in a career-low 1 1-3 innings.
The Reds, who are averaging eight runs per game on their road win streak, provided plenty of offensive support to help Claussen post his first career win over the Chicago Cubs in a 9-4 victory Monday.
The 26-year-old hurler, who had been 0-3 with a 12.41 ERA against the Cubs, threw seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and walking five to win his third straight start overall.
“Hey man, a 9-spot,” Claussen said. “That’s like getting 5-under par on the back nine rolling up 18. The only thing I was disappointed with is that I did walk some guys.”
The Brewers were at .500 and in wild-card contention less than a week ago.
“We just have to have better games than this,” first baseman Lyle Overbay said. “This is horrible. No disrespect to (the Reds), but you need more than two hits.”
Overbay has tormented Claussen during his career, batting .727 (8-for-11) with four homers, including a grand slam, and 11 RBIs against the Cincinnati starter.