MLB

Brewers-Giants Preview

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto will attempt to extend his winning streak over the Milwaukee Brewers to eight games when the San Francisco Giants go for a series sweep on Wednesday afternoon.

The veteran right-hander, who began his streak on Sept. 25, 2012, as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, will be seeking to become just the 12th pitcher to win as many as eight in a row over the Brewers in their 48-year history.

Randy Johnson holds the record with 14 straight wins over the Brewers.

Cueto hasn't just beaten the Brewers consistently for 3 1/2 seasons, he has dominated them. Milwaukee has scored only 10 runs in the seven games while Cueto has fashioned a 1.73 ERA in 52 innings.

Interestingly, the streak has endured despite less-than-stellar offensive support. The Reds totaled just 24 runs (4.0 average) in the first six wins, and the Giants added to Cueto's string with a 2-1 win at Milwaukee in the second game of the season on April 5.

The Giants have beaten the Brewers in four of five meetings this season and currently stand at a season-best 14 games above .500. It's a great place to be, especially with a guy whose 13 starts have produced 11 wins this season looking to extend the club's four-game winning streak.

"It's all about the next day," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after Tuesday"s 3-2 win. "We have another good pitcher going."

An eighth consecutive win by Cueto would match the fourth longest ever against against the Brewers. Only Johnson, Jose Lima (10) and Dave Stewart (nine) had longer runs.

One big reason for Cueto's rule over the Brewers has been his ability to shut down Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, who has gone just 2-for-12 (.167) with four strikeouts during the streak and 10-for-47 (.213) with 14 strikeouts in his career against the nine-year veteran.

Only Adam Wainwright, who has faced Braun 71 times and whiffed him on 20 occasions, has struck him out more often.

Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson, the hard-luck losing pitcher in the April game, will get a third crack at ending the streak in a rematch on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old has allowed fewer hits than Cueto in each of their previous head-to-heads but has come away a 2-1 loser in each.

Nelson allowed just three hits in eight innings as opposed to Cueto's five over eight in their first duel on April 22, 2015, when Cueto was with the Reds.

The Giants got to Nelson for just five hits in 7 1/3 innings in the April meeting, and Cueto was surrendering six hits in seven innings to the Brewers.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford's home run led to Nelson's demise earlier this season.

Nelson posted a win in his only other start against the Giants, outpitching Tim Lincecum in a 4-3 Brewers victory on Aug. 5, 2014.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell walked away from Tuesday's narrow defeat at the hands of Giants ace Madison Bumgarner recognizing Wednesday's series finale didn't promise to be any easier.

"It's tough to put up a crooked number," he said of a stagnant offense, "when your opportunities are at a minimum."

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