MLB

Brewers-Reds Preview

CINCINNATI -- The Milwaukee Brewers will be looking to win a series on the road when they wrap up a three-game weekend set against the Reds on Sunday.

Manager Craig Counsell's club is 23-22 at home, but just 16-28 away from Miller Park. If the Brewers played better on the road, perhaps this season might be different.

On Saturday night, the Brewers club broke out the bats in a 9-1 victory over the Reds. Jimmy Nelson effectively managed a huge early lead allowing six hits over seven shutout innings.

On Sunday, Milwaukee is expected to recall right-hander Zach Davies to make his 16th start of the season and second against Cincinnati. In two career starts against the Reds, Davies is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA. But, both of those outings came at Miller Park where he allowed five earned runs in 11 2/3 innings.

The Brewers will need to make a roster move prior to Sunday's game in order to make room on the roster for Davies.

His last start came on July 5 at Washington when he earned a 5-2 victory after giving up only two earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs after that game, however, to make room for first baseman Andy Wilkins.

Since struggling in his first three starts, going 0-3 with 13 earned runs allowed in 13 1/3 innings, Davies responded by going 6-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 12 starts with seven quality starts.

Milwaukee (39-50) is 8-7 when Davies starts.

Reds right-hander Homer Bailey made his fourth rehab appearance for Triple-A Louisville on Friday and will make at least one more before being activated.

When that happens, right-hander Dan Straily is among the current starters who could be the odd man out. Either him, or John Lamb who allowed nine earned runs in two-plus innings on Saturday could be called on to be a left-handed specialist in the bullpen.

Lamb is among many Reds players feeling the frustration as they fell to 33-58 on Saturday.

"Any time you don't do well, there's a collective frustration," said Lamb. "it's frustrating when there are expectations and you're not meeting them. I hope I continue to have the ball every five days and be able to go out there and compete. At some point you've got to produce."

On Sunday, Straily will make his 20th appearance and 17th start of the season. It will be his second career appearance against Milwaukee but his first start.

Opponents are hitting only .218 against Straily who is tied for the club lead with nine quality starts. This after beginning the season in the bullpen.

Straily began spring training with the Houston Astros before being traded to San Diego on March 28 before being claimed off waivers by the Reds whose rotation was decimated by injuries just three days later.

Cincinnati hopes to have second baseman Brandon Phillips back on Sunday after he missed Saturday's game with a strained calf muscle suffered on Friday.

The Brewers are awaiting word on the condition of right fielder Hernan Perez who left Saturday's game with a left foot contusion after hitting a two-run home run to spark the offensive outburst.

X-Rays were planned as a precaution and he will be evaluated further on Sunday, which could be an ideal day to give Perez a breather.

"He had trouble putting weight on it," said manager Craig Counsell. "He was struggling enough to take him out. I think he'll be fine."

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