Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will make his Milwaukee Brewers debut with a spot start on Tuesday against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of a four-game National League Central showdown.
Gonzalez (0-0, 7.71 ERA), who was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins last week, will start in place of injured left-hander Aaron Ashby.
St. Louis right-hander Jack Flaherty (0-0, 6.00 ERA) will make his second start of the season after opening the year on the injured list.
The Brewers took the opener of the four-game series 2-0 on Monday behind Corbin Burnes to move a game ahead of the second-place Cardinals. Burnes, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, allowed just two hits over seven innings, and Tyrone Taylor accounted for both runs with a two-run homer off Miles Mikolas in the fifth inning.
Burnes’ lengthy outing, followed by a scoreless inning each from Devin Williams and Josh Hader, gives the Brewers some bullpen flexibility for Tuesday.
“No matter where you are in the season, a seven-inning performance from a starter is helpful,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said after the Monday game. “Chi Chi Gonzalez is going to start tomorrow, but it puts us in a position to have guys freshened up for tomorrow.
“Basically, we just had to get up Devin and Josh tonight, so it gave some guys that have been working pretty hard a day off and it gets them back in the mix tomorrow, so we’re in good shape.”
Flaherty, recovering from a sore right shoulder, was limited to three innings in his debut. He allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits in a no-decision at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, throwing 60 pitches. He is expected to again be on a tightly controlled pitch count.
Flaherty is 3-6 with a 4.96 ERA in 15 career games vs. the Brewers, including 14 starts. He is 1-3 with a 5.82 ERA in seven starts at Milwaukee.
Gonzalez made two starts this season with the Twins, allowing six runs on 12 hits in seven innings. Gonzalez, a former first-round pick of the Rangers, previously pitched in the majors with Texas (2015-16) and the Colorado Rockies (2019-21).
He is 1-2 with a 6.33 ERA in four career starts vs. St. Louis.
Ashby was placed on the 15-day injured list Monday due to left forearm inflammation. Ashby left his Thursday start against the Mets after 4 1/3 innings because of arm discomfort.
Milwaukee already is without starting pitchers Freddy Peralta and Brandon Woodruff.
Peralta is on the 60-day IL due to a right shoulder strain sustained in late May. Woodruff, who made on rehab start for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, is scheduled to make another rehab start on Thursday for nearby Class-A Appleton. Woodruff is attempting to recover from an ankle sprain and a circulatory issue.
Prior to being shut out for the fifth time this season on Monday night, the Cardinals had homered in nine straight games, which was the longest active streak in the majors.
Milwaukee leads the season series with St. Louis 5-4. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol was asked if he anticipated even matchups the rest of the season, in which one mistake can decide a game.
“I’m not sure, we’ll see by the end of it how it plays out, but I feel good about our club,” Marmol said.
–Field Level Media