Reds-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

The first start for Homer Bailey following his July no-hitter came at Miller Park, a rough outing that began a stretch in which the right-hander has rarely looked like a dominant force.

Another look at the Brewers probably isn't what will help him out of his funk.

Bailey tries to end his career-long struggles against Milwaukee on Sunday and help his Cincinnati Reds avoid a third straight loss.

Bailey (7-10, 3.81 ERA) has made it through at least eight innings without allowing an earned run four times this season, the most notable of which was his second no-hitter in nine months July 2 against San Francisco.

But even with some occasionally untouchable stuff and a strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.25) that's among the NL's best, Bailey has had plenty of bouts of inconsistency. He's 2-4 with a 4.40 ERA in seven starts since the no-hitter, serving up eight homers in 45 innings as opponents have posted an .852 OPS that's among the worst in the majors in that stretch.

All four of the runs Bailey allowed over 6 1-3 innings in the Reds' 6-4, 11-inning win Tuesday at Wrigley Field came courtesy of three homers.

"My command was just terrible,'' Bailey said. "Just one of those nights, I just didn't have good stuff at all. Never really felt like I was in a groove.''

Bailey hasn't had good stuff often against the Brewers (54-69). He's 1-7 with a 6.03 in 13 starts versus Milwaukee, and allowed four runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3 loss at Miller Park on July 8.

"It's weird - this team has kind of had my number," Bailey told after that outing. "It's kind of one of those unexplainable things."

The Brewers have had the Reds' number in Milwaukee of late. They've beaten Cincinnati (69-54) in seven of the last nine at Miller Park after Saturday's 2-0 victory.

The last time Wily Peralta (8-12, 4.30) faced the Reds at home was perhaps the best start of his brief career. The rookie threw a three-hitter July 9 in Milwaukee's 2-0 win, and he went the distance again last Sunday at Seattle - albeit in a 2-0 loss while matched up with Felix Hernandez.

Peralta was 4-8 with a 6.08 ERA in his first 15 starts, but he's 4-4 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 starts since.

"I think it takes a lot of starts and a lot of innings to figure out things, and he's starting to get it, along with the confidence," manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers' official website. "When you get in a tight spot, it's not always, 'throw it as hard as you can.' He's starting to figure those things out, and hopefully he continues to grow that way."

Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce are a combined 5 for 31 (.161) against Peralta.

Bruce, who's hitting .204 in August, is a .300 hitter on the road this season compared to .238 at Great American Ball Park.

Miller Park, though, has hardly brought out the best in the right fielder. Bruce has six singles in his last 35 at-bats (.171) in Milwaukee, a far cry from the seven extra-base hits and 1.287 OPS he has at home versus the Brewers in 2013.

Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez missed his second straight game Saturday with a sprained right knee suffered when making a catch in Thursday's 2-1 loss. He's likely still a few days away from returning.

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