St. Louis Cardinals (26-25) at Milwaukee Brewers (23-27)
Monday, May 30 - 2:10 PM EST
Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jonathan Lucroy has come alive at the plate for the Milwaukee Brewers, who go for their sixth victory in seven contests when they open a three-game set against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. Lucroy went 6-for-11 with nine RBIs as Milwaukee took two of three games from the Cincinnati Reds over the weekend.
"I see it as one of those things where it was a matter of time where he was going to start executing that pretty routinely," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Lucroy. "It really fits into the style of hitter he is and what he's good at." Lucroy's run production came at a needed time for Milwaukee, which was without Ryan Braun for the eighth time in 14 contests on Sunday due to a stiff neck. The Cardinals had to settle for a four-game split at Washington after their bullpen unraveled in a 10-2 loss in the series finale. St. Louis has received four straight solid outings from the starting rotation and the hope is that it rubs off on right-hander Carlos Martinez, who will try to avoid a sixth straight defeat.
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Carlos Martinez (4-5, 4.25 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Junior Guerra (3-0, 3.30)
It's been a tale of two months for Martinez, who followed up a perfect 4-0 April by losing all five starts in May, including a 9-8 loss to the Chicago Cubs last time out in which he was rattled for six runs in five innings. Martinez has permitted at least four runs on four occasions during the five-game skid and has failed to pitch beyond five innings in his last four turns. He's made 15 appearances versus Milwaukee, logging a 1-1 record and 1.34 ERA.
Guerra has offered an unlikely boost to Milwaukee's beleaguered rotation, remaining unbeaten in his first five major-league starts by blanking Atlanta on four hits over five innings without being involved in the decision last time out. The 31-year-old, who has pitched in Mexico and Italy, struck out 11 and allowed three runs over seven innings to beat the Chicago Cubs in his previous turn. Guerra has won all three of his starts at Miller Park, surrendering only one homer in 19 innings.
1. Lucroy joined Robin Yount (1987) as the only Brewer to record three RBIs in three straight games.
2. Cardinals LF Matt Holliday is 5-for-8 in his last two games.
3. Brewers SS Jonathan Villar is 9-for-19 with a homer, six RBIs and seven runs scored in his last five games.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 4, Brewers 2