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Preview: Brewers (60-75) at Reds (55-79)
Venue: Great American Ball Park
Date: September 06, 2015 1:10 PM EDT
Jimmy Nelson knew he wasn’t pitching up to his capabilities and made enough changes to get things turned around.
The Milwaukee Brewers have followed suit.
Milwaukee seeks a seventh straight victory as it sends Nelson to the hill against the host Cincinnati Reds on Sunday.
Nelson (11-10, 3.70 ERA) had a 5.24 ERA over his previous four starts before allowing one run in seven innings of Tuesday’s 7-4 win over Pittsburgh. He didn’t walk any after issuing a career-high eight free passes in a loss to Cleveland in his previous start Aug. 26.
‘Obviously, I was better than in my last couple of outings,” Nelson said. ‘You’d rather have no walks and give up a few more hits here and there because sometimes a lot of those hits can turn into outs.”
The right-hander’s previous career high for walks was five against the Reds on April 27, when he allowed seven runs in 2 1-3 innings of a 9-6 loss. Nelson has a 6.19 ERA in three starts against Cincinnati this season despite beating the Reds 7-3 on July 4 the last time he faced them.
Milwaukee (60-75) has won eight of the last nine meetings with Cincinnati (55-79) after sweeping Saturday’s day-night doubleheader. Elian Herrera hit a solo homer in an 8-6 victory in the opener and added a three-run shot in a 7-3 win in the nightcap.
“(Herrera) is getting better as a player,” manager Craig Counsell said. “I really think that. He’s doing a nice job. He’s played himself into an everyday role. He’s earned it, and it’s to his credit. He keeps producing.”
Shane Peterson hit his first career homer in the second game for the Brewers, who have won six in a row for the first time since a season-best eight-game run from June 28-July 5.
The doubleheader lasted nearly eight hours, including a rain delay of an hour and half.
‘It was a long day, but a good day,’ Counsell said. ‘We played well.’
One of the few bright spots for the Reds was Joey Votto, who went 3 for 7 on the day and extended his hitting streak to eight games. He’s batting .519 with three homers during that run, which began against the Brewers on Aug. 28.
Votto leads the majors with a .400 average and 1.309 OPS since the All-Star break.
Cincinnati has dropped 13 of 14 at home and hopes to get more out of Michael Lorenzen (3-8, 5.66) in this contest.
Lorenzen’s struggles continued Monday after he allowed five runs in 4 2-3 innings of Cincinnati’s 13-6 win over the Chicago Cubs. It marked his first start with the Reds since he was sent to the minors after he gave up seven runs in 1 1-3 innings against San Diego on Aug. 11.
The right-hander is 0-4 with a 12.00 ERA over his last six major league outings, allowing at least five runs four times while failing to get through five innings on three occasions.
Lorenzen made his major league debut against the Brewers on April 29 and has allowed six runs over nine innings while dropping both of his starts to Milwaukee, with the other coming July 3.
Ryan Braun is 3 for 5 with a homer off Lorenzen.