Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
Venue: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati, OH
Where to watch: Bally Sports Wisconsin, Bally Sports Ohio
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
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Brewers - Reds preview and analysis
The Milwaukee Brewers are running out of time. With 12 games remaining, Milwaukee finds itself on the outside looking in from the National League Wild Card race. They’re 2.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies with time running out on catching the St. Louis Cardinals.
The good news for the Brew Crew is that they have a favorable schedule for the time being. That starts with the Cincinnati Reds, whom the Brewers beat 5-1 on Thursday. The series continues on Friday in Cincinnati.
Thursday night belonged to Kolten Wong, who homered three times to keep the Brewers’ playoff hopes alive. Wong drove in all five runs to pace the inconsistent Brewers offense, but at the right time to give Brandon Woodruff some serious help.
"I'm definitely not a guy who hits three home runs very often," Wong said. "I've had a chance to do it a couple of times, but I tried to do too much. I just tried not to do too much and keep my swing tight."
Perhaps what was the greatest part of Milwaukee’s win was the Brewers had four hits total in that game. Do the math: Wong hit three home runs, meaning he had three of those hits. If not for Wong, the Reds would’ve absolutely cried all the way home to a victory.
"We had four hits," manager Craig Counsell said. "Kolton had three, and all three were home runs. That was pretty incredible. He was definitely a one-man show on offense."
The Brewers need any sort of magic at this point to return to the postseason, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen given the playoff situation. Eric Lauer is expected to start for the Brewers to face Mike Minor and the Reds.
Cincinnati also had just four hits on its own in this game, which is a microcosm of how far the Reds have fallen after coming up shy of the playoffs a year ago. Alejo Lopez had half of those hits, going 2 for 4 from the plate, and Kyle Farmer drove in the only Reds run with a solo homer.
Reds rookie starter Hunter Greene went five innings and struck out eight, but gave up two of the four earned runs.
"I felt solid," Greene said. "I felt really good. Those walks hurt me. It's a good hitting team. It is always a battle when I face these guys. They are pretty good at hitting mistakes. There were times when I pulled off. I tried to elevate a fastball to Wong. It kind of leaked over the plate a little bit."
The Brewers are just 37-40 on the road this year, which could be viewed as a reason why they’ve fallen out of favor in the playoffs. It also hasn’t helped that they’re a 11-10 mark in September when they could’ve been better. Alas, it’s still the Reds.
The Reds have been a respectable 25-38 against division opponents, but I can’t overlook the fact that the Brewers need to play better heading into a playoff run in the final few weeks. Brewers win 5-2
Christian Yelich (L) LF
Willy Adames (R) SS
Rowdy Tellez (L) 1B
Hunter Renfroe (R) RF
Kolten Wong (L) 2B
Andrew McCutchen (R) DH
Jace Peterson (L) 3B
Omar Narvaez (L) C
Tyrone Taylor (R) CF
TJ Friedl (L) LF
Jonathan India (R) DH
Kyle Farmer (R) SS
Jake Fraley (L) RF
Donovan Solano (R) 1B
Alejo Lopez (S) 2B
Matt Reynolds (R) 3B
Mike Siani (L) CF
Austin Romine (R) C
Batting average: Christian Yelich -- .258
Home runs: Rowdy Tellez -- 32
RBI: Willy Adames -- 95
Wins: Brandon Woodruff -- 12
ERA: Corbin Burnes -- 3.12
Batting average: Kyle Farmer -- .258
Home runs: Kyle Farmer -- 13
RBI: Kyle Farmer -- 71
Wins: Alexis Diaz -- 6
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