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Brewers going for sweep — shutout-style — vs. Reds

The Milwaukee Brewers have used overpowering pitching and timely hitting to recapture first place in the National League Central from the Cincinnati Reds

On Sunday, the visiting Brewers aim to conclude their series with the Reds with a demoralizing three-game sweep

Milwaukee enters Sunday’s game having beaten Cincinnati in seven of nine meetings this season and 25 of the last 34 overall. Saturday’s 3-0 win gave Milwaukee sole possession of first place in the division for the first time since June 26, when they led Cincinnati by a half-game.

The Brewers have recorded three straight shutout wins for the first time since July 19-21, 2013. Milwaukee pitching has allowed just three hits over the last 18 shutout innings

In registering the three shutouts, Brewers pitchers have totaled 44 strikeouts of Cincinnati batters. The Reds were one of the hottest-hitting teams in the majors in June and early July, when they were winning 20-of-24 games and fifth in MLB with 4.99 runs per game entering the All-Star break

“We’re pitching really, really well,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s a lineup that’s been scoring a ton of runs, so to put two shutouts on the board against them, all the more credit to our pitchers.

Milwaukee came up with three solo home runs for their offense Saturday while clawing out just single runs in their previous two wins.

“We’ve got to score more runs,” Counsell added. “We left runs out there. That means that we’re asking (the pitchers) to be perfect. They did great. But we left big run-scoring opportunities out there … and we’ve done that, really, the last three games against the Reds. We’d like to be a little better there to give those guys some room for error.

The Reds have been shut out three straight times for the first time since April 3-5, 2019, and just for the third time in franchise history

“There’s no question we’ll break through,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We also know what we’ve been up against the last couple of nights. These guys are executing their pitches. There’s no doubt. So, just keep working at it keep, keep competing, keep battling, and we know we’ll break through

The Brewers send right-hander Adrian Houser (3-2, 3.68 ERA) to the mound in the series finale

Houser will be making his 12th appearance (10th start) of the season. The Brewers are 5-4 in his nine previous starts, including three quality starts

Houser is 5-4 with a 4.90 ERA in 16 career appearances (13 starts) against the Reds, including a 5-1 win on June 4 in Cincinnati, when he allowed just one run on six hits over seven innings

The Reds counter with right-hander Ben Lively (4-5, 3.83), who will make his ninth start and 11th appearance of 2023. Lively allowed just one run and four hits over 5 2/3 innings in his most recent start last Sunday in Milwaukee, taking the tough-luck 1-0 loss before the All-Star break

“We believe in the people that we have in our clubhouse,” Bell said. “And that’s easy to do with the people that we have, the players that we have, the pitchers that we have. There’s no other way to approach it.”

–Field Level Media

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