Brewers-Reds Preview

The Associated Press

Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo is having a hard time keeping the ball in the yard, and he'll be facing a Milwaukee team that ranks as one of the most powerful in the NL.

The Brewers' lineup, however, hasn't shown much pop lately.

Arroyo hopes to take advantage of Milwaukee's offensive struggles Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.

The NL Central-leading Reds (40-32) beat the Brewers 3-1 in Monday's opener, winning for only the second time in seven games. Jay Bruce doubled home two runs in the fourth inning and Brandon Phillips had an RBI double in the eighth, while Mat Latos threw a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts.

The lone run off Latos was a sixth-inning homer by Norichika Aoki, Milwaukee's 87th of the season. The Brewers' home run total is tied for second-most in the NL, but Aoki's shot snapped a three-game drought without one.

Milwaukee (33-40), which has scored one run or less in three of its last four games after combining for 24 runs in its previous three, depends on the home run, owning a 4-20 record when it doesn't go deep.

"We've got to swing the bats,'' manager Ron Roenicke said. "We're not giving ourselves many opportunities to score runs. When you get only two or three a night, you'd better be really, really good with runners in scoring position.''

Milwaukee, 5-8 since June 12, could have better success against Arroyo (3-5, 4.19 ERA), who has surrendered 15 home runs, tied for fourth-most in the NL.

Against Cleveland on Wednesday, Arroyo was done after four innings - matching a season low - and allowed five runs and eight hits - including two homers - in an 8-1 loss. It marked the third straight game the right-hander served up two home runs.

Arroyo, however, made one of his best starts in Milwaukee on May 7, yielding one run on a Ryan Braun homer and five other hits over 6 2-3 innings of a 6-1 victory.

Braun, who is batting .320 with four homers in 25 at-bats against Arroyo since 2009, was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Monday, ending his 18-game hitting streak.

Marco Estrada (0-3, 4.50) is expected to come off the disabled list to take the ball Tuesday, and he has the difficult task of trying to shut down Cincinnati's sluggers - something he hasn't had much success with.

Estrada, out since May 23 because of a right quadriceps strain, had a 5.63 ERA in his three starts before his injury. He opposed Arroyo in May, and gave up five runs and eight hits in seven innings to get saddled with the loss. Bruce hit a three-run homer, and has seven RBIs in four games against the Brewers this season.

Phillips is 4 for 9 with a homer and double lifetime against Estrada, while Joey Votto is 3 for 8 with a home run and double.

If either team homers Tuesday it would be the 64th consecutive game with one at Great American, which would become the longest streak in the majors since Coors Field had 80 straight with a homer from 2002-03.

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