The National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers look to build on the momentum from Friday's dramatic 11-inning win when they visit the upstart Cincinnati Reds on Saturday in the second of a four-game set.
The Brewers send right-hander Colin Rea (2-3, 4.89 ERA) to the mound for his 10th appearance (and ninth start) of the season.
In his last start Sunday vs. San Francisco, Rea earned the win in Milwaukee's 7-5 victory. He allowed the Giants four runs on five hits over six innings with no walks and six strikeouts.
Rea is 3-0 with a 5.06 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Reds. He last faced them in a relief stint on Aug. 30, 2020 at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds, who have lost two in a row after winning five straight, counter with right-hander Graham Ashcraft (3-3, 5.55). Ashcraft snapped a personal three-game losing streak in his last start, surrendering three runs on five hits over five innings in Cincinnati's 8-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. He walked three and fanned six.
After going 2-0 with a 2.10 ERA in five April starts, Ashcraft struggled in May. He went 1-3 with a 9.21 ERA in six starts. Ashcraft is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in three career starts against Milwaukee, all coming in 2022.
Cincinnati rookie shortstop Matt McLain had a rough night Friday. He committed the first error of his career error in the fourth inning, throwing away a likely inning-ending double play ball when his toss to Jonathan India sailed into right field.
At the plate, McLain was 0-for-5, snapping his 10-game hitting streak, in Cincinnati's 5-4 loss in 11 innings.
The Reds announced Friday that star first baseman Joey Votto will return to Triple-A Louisville to begin a new rehab assignment on Saturday. Votto's rehab from left shoulder surgery on his rotator cuff and biceps last August hasn't progressed as planned.
The 39-year-old Votto hasn't played in games for Louisville since his rehab assignment was stopped on April 15 after he batted .184 (7-for-38) in 10 games, with one home run, five RBIs, six walks and 21 strikeouts.
"I've just been feeling really good with the live work," Votto said Friday. "At some point, you've got to come back and help the team. It's good. I'm excited to be back. I've missed playing with the guys. Going on the road, I was able to work with our bullpen arms that throw. I was able to continue hanging out with the guys, staying in the flow of in-season competition."
Meanwhile, Reds outfielder TJ Friedl missed his third straight game since straining his left hamstring in Tuesday's win over the Boston Red Sox.
Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Willy Adames (concussion) stayed back in Wisconsin on Friday, still recovering from being struck on the head by a foul ball during a game against the San Francisco Giants on Milwaukee's last homestand.
Instead of flying with the Brewers to Cincinnati for pregame workouts, Adames drove to Appleton, Wis., to work with the Class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, with a decision from the Brewers on a possible minor league rehab coming over the weekend.
"Everything has gone great," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said before Friday's game. "He's got no symptoms, so he's progressing. It really doesn't change the schedule he'd be on. We just figured, don't fly. This can go fast, but every step has to be no symptoms."
Milwaukee outfielder Tyrone Taylor (elbow) was scratched from Friday's lineup against Cincinnati. Taylor missed the start of the season while recovering from a sprained right elbow and continues to experience discomfort.
--Field Level Media