Off to a rough start, the Milwaukee Brewers certainly can't afford to be without 2014 All-Star Carlos Gomez for an extended period of time.
The visiting Brewers know they'll be missing their center fielder for at least Thursday's finale against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gomez strained his hamstring while beating out a play at first base in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 4-2 defeat. He limped off the field and is expected to undergo further tests. Manager Ron Roenicke said Gomez will not be in the lineup for this game.
"Right now, it's sore," Gomez told the Brewers' official website following the defeat. "(Thursday) is the day that we know if it's going to be a couple of days or a lot.
"I've had hamstring issues in the past, and I know when it's good or not. Hopefully this will be OK."
Gomez hit .320 with a home run and six RBIs in the previous six games before going 0 for 5 on Wednesday. Losing one of their top performers for a lengthy stretch would be a big blow for the Brewers (2-6), who have the fewest wins in the NL and are hitting .229 with 2.9 runs per game.
Milwaukee pounded out a season-high 10 hits Wednesday but stranded 11 runners and went 3 for 14 with men in scoring position, losing for the 11th time in 16 games to St. Louis (4-3).
Though the Brewers have issues at the plate, there's reason to feel confident if scheduled starter Mike Fiers' track record against the Cardinals is any indication.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 1.40 ERA in four starts versus St. Louis, though he yielded five runs in five innings of a 6-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday. Fiers did strike out eight and walk one in his season debut.
Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter and Matt Holliday are a combined 3 for 34 with seven strikeouts against Fiers, but that trio had six of St. Louis' 10 hits and drove in all its runs Wednesday.
Carpenter has gone 6 for 14 with five RBIs in the last three games, and is batting .346 in his past six against the Brewers.
Holliday has batted .333 while recording at least one hit in all seven contests.
"He's got a nice approach, and we're happy with where he is right now," manager Mike Matheny told MLB's official website.
After Lance Lynn allowed a run in five innings, six relievers helped St. Louis earn its first home victory.
''That's not how we draw it up, to use so many guys that much,'' Matheny said. ''But wins are that valuable. You've got to jump on them when you can.''
St. Louis gives the ball to John Lackey, who allowed a pair of two-run homers to Joey Votto and two other hits over six innings of Friday's 5-4 loss at Cincinnati in his 2015 debut. He didn't get the decision.
The right-hander went 1-1 with a 5.54 ERA against the Brewers last season. He earned a 3-2 home victory by giving up two runs in seven innings Aug. 3.