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Cincinnati @ Milwaukee preview

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Last Meeting ( Jul 24, 2023 ) Cincinnati 2, Milwaukee 3

After seeing their All-Star closer give up a walk-off single to drop the opener, the Cincinnati Reds will have to figure out Brewers ace Corbin Burnes on Tuesday in the second game of a showdown series in Milwaukee.

Burnes (9-5, 3.49 ERA) will be opposed by rookie left-hander Andrew Abbott (5-2, 2.10) in the matchup of the top two teams in the National League Central standings. Burnes is 4-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 17 career appearances, including seven starts, against the Reds. He is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts against them this season.

Milwaukee took the series opener 3-2 on Monday night on Christian Yelich's walk-off single in the ninth off Alexis Diaz to move the Brewers 1 1/2 games in front of the Reds in the Central.

The Brewers, who swept three games at Cincinnati to open the second half, improved to 9-2 this season against the Reds, who had their five-game winning streak snapped.

The Reds, who have lost five straight to Milwaukee, have scored two runs or fewer in six of their 11 games against the Brewers.

"Great games. There's no question we've come up short," Cincinnati manager David Bell said. "We have two left and that's where our focus is. We've got a long way to go, but we have two more games against this team. The main thing for us is to just continue to do what we've been doing and stay confident and stay together."

The Brewers are 20-8 in one-run games, the best winning percentage (.714) in the majors.

Milwaukee, which is 46-10 when scoring four or more runs, improved to just 10-35 when scoring three or fewer. Prior to Yelich's game-winning hit, the Brewers were 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

Brewers rookie Sal Frelick continued his hot start with his first career homer that tied it 2-2 in the sixth. Frelick is 5-for-9 with three RBIs in three games, reaching in seven of 12 plate appearances, since being called up Saturday from Triple-A Nashville.

"The home runs, obviously, I don't think that's going to be necessarily his thing, but he's having good at-bats," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Frelick. "That is his thing, and that's what we expect him to do is have good at-bats."

Yelich is hitting .342 over his last 40 games with seven homers, 30 RBIs and 32 runs.

Reds rookie sensation Elly De La Cruz accounted for both Cincinnati runs with his sixth homer, a 456-foot blast to right-center field with an exit velocity of 113.7 mph.

Burnes is returning to the form that earned him the 2021 NL Cy Young Award, winning his last four starts with a 1.33 ERA, giving up just four runs over 27 innings. He has 36 strikeouts, including 13 and 10 in his last two starts, while walking nine over the four-game span.

Abbott will be making his 10th career start and fourth against Milwaukee. Abbott won his first start versus the Brewers, allowing just one hit over six scoreless innings, but was tagged for six runs in 4 1/3 innings in a 7-3 loss in the second matchup on July 7.

Abbott also was saddled with the defeat in his third start against the Brewers, despite giving up just two runs on three hits in six innings in a 3-0 loss on July 15.

In his most recent start, Abbott held San Francisco to just one hit over eight scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory last Thursday.

--Field Level Media

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