Reds can run winning streak to six in matinee vs. Brewers

Sports

The Cincinnati Reds will aim to match a season-best six-game streak Wednesday when they look to sweep the host Milwaukee Brewers in an afternoon matinee.

After losing their season opener against St. Louis, the Reds ran off six straight wins. They can match that Wednesday as Tyler Mahle (6-2, 3.56 ERA) takes to the mound for Cincinnati while Milwaukee counters with right-hander Freddy Peralta (6-1, 2.25).

Mahle has won four straight starts for the first time in his career, posting a 2.31 ERA and a .167 opponents’ batting average. Mahle is also the first Reds pitcher to win four consecutive starts since Luis Castillo last season. Mahle is looking to become the first Reds pitcher to win five consecutive starts since Johnny Cueto went 5-0 with a complete game over five starts from July 26 to Aug. 15, 2014.

In four career starts against Milwaukee, Mahle is 0-2 with a 6.16 ERA.

Peralta will make his 14th appearance and 13th start of the season, and his third start against the Reds. Last Thursday, Peralta received a no-decision in the Brewers’ 7-2 win over the Reds in Cincinnati as the Brewers scored six times over the final four innings.

“We know that we have a good offense,” Peralta said. “Sometimes you have to wait a little bit and see if they’re going to wake up, but we know — everybody knows in the clubhouse — that we have very good hitters on the team.”

Peralta was pulled from the game after a 37-minute rain delay. In four innings, he gave up two hits and a run, walked two and struck out six.

In 12 career games — six starts — against the Reds, Peralta is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA.

The Reds and Brewers have split their first eight meetings. Since dropping the series finale in Cincinnati last Thursday, the Reds’ bullpen, even without its best weapon in the injured Tejay Antone, has been a big reason for the sudden turnaround.

On Tuesday night, after Castillo pitched seven shutout innings, Brad Brach pitched a scoreless eighth, Lucas Sims pitched around a leadoff walk in the ninth. Then, Heath Hembree and Amir Garrett closed the door in the 10th in a 2-1 win.

“It’s hard to sum it up for all of those games,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We did what it took to grind out a win. Luis pitched an outstanding game and put us in position to win it. Amir made a pitch and got us a win.

“I think we believe in these guys. There’s been times where there’s been struggles … but as a group they’ve stayed together. They’ve stayed strong, stayed tough. They continue to gain confidence. Who knows what that turns into?”

Joey Votto took a rare 0-for-3 Tuesday night in Milwaukee, the site of his best road performance over the course of his career. Votto, batting .322 with 21 homers and 63 RBIs in Milwaukee, says this week’s series highlights how much he’s enjoying younger players such as Jonathan India and Tyler Stephenson spark the latest surge.

“I’m watching guys get better, and it’s so fun to watch careers blossom,” Votto said. “It’s so fun to watch guys do things that they didn’t think they could do and to be in the same uniform as guys that are reaching their life goals. Getting to watch it firsthand and share it with them is one of my favorite parts about this sport.”

–Field Level Media

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