Blue Jays-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

Jose Bautista and Ryan Braun are both enjoying impressive streaks, but it's the Toronto Blue Jays slugger who has provided more of the power in this series.

The Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers have split a pair of one-run slugfests to start this three-game set, with Bautista flexing his muscles the most heading into Wednesday's finale at Miller Park.

The Brewers (31-37) won 7-6 on Monday and the Blue Jays (35-33) responded by rallying for a 10-9 victory Tuesday to end their 11-game losing streak in Milwaukee.

Bautista has reached base in 19 straight games overall with 10 homers, 20 RBIs and 18 walks in that span. All three of his hits in this series have been home runs.

He and Colby Rasmus went back-to-back twice Tuesday, most notably off closer John Axford to erase a 9-8 deficit in the ninth inning in a wild affair in which Toronto twice blew two-run leads.

"Even when we scored the four runs to go up by two and give back five, there was never any letdown," manager John Farrell said. "We'll work through the situation we're in."

The Blue Jays homered a season-high six times, with Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie also connecting. They have 100 homers this season for the majors' second-best total behind the Yankees' 101.

Braun, meanwhile, has two singles in eight at-bats and has scored four runs in this series. He has extended his hitting streaks to 14 straight games overall and 24 in a row in interleague play.

The Brewers slugger can match the third-longest interleague hitting streak in history Wednesday, a 25-game run by Yankees star Derek Jeter.

Milwaukee cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez is 4 for 6 with two homers, three walks and seven RBIs in this series after hitting a grand slam Tuesday. He's hitting .346 with six homers and 20 RBIs over his last 21 games.

Lawrie, a first-round pick of the Brewers in 2008, is also hot for Toronto. He has homered in each game of this series and is 14 for 38 (.368) over a nine-game hitting streak.

Lawrie has not faced Wednesday's starter Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 4.23 ERA), but other Blue Jays have. Rasmus has fared the best by going 4 for 13 against him while Kelly Johnson (1 for 9), Yunel Escobar (1 for 7) and Bautista (1 for 6) have struggled.

Gallardo, who has never faced Toronto, is 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA in five career interleague home starts. He has struck out 39 and allowed 37 baserunners in those contests.

Milwaukee has won four of the right-hander's last five starts, with Gallardo going 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in that stretch. He gave up three runs over six innings and did not get a decision Friday in a 5-3 victory at Minnesota.

Toronto has been dealing with injuries to three starting pitchers. After Tuesday's fill-in Jesse Chavez lasted 2 2-3 innings, Farrell was still formulating a plan for which pitcher would start Wednesday less than 12 hours before the first pitch.

"There's a potential we may have to make a change here to get another arm go multiple innings," Farrell said.

Toronto relievers have combined for 26 2-3 innings over the last five days, with one more game before Thursday's welcome off day.