The Cincinnati Reds will try to play spoiler against a division rival when they host the visiting Milwaukee Brewers as the clubs open a four-game series on Thursday.
With their 6-0 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday, the Brewers (79-70) not only avoided a three-game sweep, but they remained2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia (81-67) for the third and final National League wild-card berth.
The Brewers finished their six-game homestand 3-3 against the New York Yankees and the Mets.
"We know we have to put the gas pedal down, for sure," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "We did that this homestand, and we'll continue to."
Milwaukee's Wednesday starter, Adrian Houser, said after firing 4 2/3 shutout innings in the victory, "Being able to go out there and not let them get any runs on the board and let the boys work at the plate today and put up some runs was a big thing.
"Hopefully it builds some confidence with the guys and gets us on a roll in the four games in Cincinnati."
Mike Brosseau delivered the big hit for the Brewers on Wednesday. Batting in place of Rowdy Tellez, Brosseau drilled his first career grand slam and improved to 9-for-15 with three homers as a pinch hitter this season.
"My playing time's been a little sporadic lately, so it's a great feeling to produce when my number is called upon," Brosseau said.
The Brewers will send right-hander Brandon Woodruff (11-4, 3.26 ERA) to the mound for the series opener, with the Reds set to go with right-hander Hunter Greene (4-12, 4.97).
In his most recent start, Saturday against the Yankees, Woodruff earned a 4-1 victory, allowing just five hits and one run over eight innings. He struck out 10 and walked one.
Woodruff is 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA in 14 career appearances (12 starts) vs. Cincinnati, including 2-1 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts this season.
Greene returned on Saturday from a six-week stint on the injured list, and he was superb against the St. Louis Cardinals. The rookie fired six shutout innings, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out a career-high 11. He had been sidelined due to a shoulder strain.
However, Greene has struggled in three outings against the Brewers this year, going 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA.
The Reds announced on Wednesday that outfielder Nick Senzel is finished for the season after being placed on the 10-day injured list due to a fractured left toe. Senzel was injured when he crashed into the center field wall trying to make a catch on Tuesday in Cincinnati's 5-3 defeat against the Boston Red Sox.
Taking Senzel's place on the roster is outfielder Michael Siani, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Louisville.
Siani is a left-handed-hitting center field prospect. The 23-year-old spent most of the season at Double-A Chattanooga, batting .252 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs in 121 games. He played eight games after his promotion to Louisville earlier this month.
In his 129 games overall, Siani stole 52 bases, and he is known for making strong defensive plays in the outfield.
"He's had a nice year," Reds manager David Bell said. "He's put himself in a position to have a really good approach at the plate, consistent at-bats. We've seen him a lot. He's talented, he's a good athlete, he's a good defender."
--Field Level Media