(Photo credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)
The Milwaukee Brewers will give the ball to ace right-hander Corbin Burnes as they look to build momentum toward the postseason when they wrap up a three-game series against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
Burnes (10-8, 3.46 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Dakota Hudson (6-2, 4.95).
Milwaukee, which clinched the National League Central title on Tuesday, snapped a three-game skid by rallying for a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday. Tyrone Taylor had a pair of RBI doubles for the Brewers, including the go-ahead hit in the seventh inning.
Taylor, activated in mid-July after two stays on the injured list, is hitting .333 (18-for-54) over his past 16 games with seven doubles, four homers, 13 RBIs and 12 runs.
"I think Tyrone's a pretty primary piece right now, the way he's played the second half of the season," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.
The Brewers, who had scored just one run in each of their two previous losses, improved to just 15-43 when scoring three runs or fewer. Milwaukee is 74-16 when scoring four runs or more.
Milwaukee (89-69) owns a 24-12 mark over its past 36 games and 14-4 over its past 18 games at home. The Brewers, who close with three home games against the division rival Chicago Cubs this weekend, also improved to 28-18 in one-run games this season and 30-18 vs. the NL Central.
Over his past seven starts, Burnes is 1-2 despite producing a 3.02 ERA over that span. In his latest outing, he allowed two hits over five scoreless innings in a 16-1 victory at Miami on Friday.
"I thought he threw a lot of quality pitches, I don't know if they were right below the zone, I thought he threw a bunch of good pitches and we didn't get the calls, or they were just balls and they took them and did a nice job," Counsell said after the Friday contest. "But he had good stuff tonight and he stayed off barrels really, really well."
Burnes is 4-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 16 career games, including 13 starts, against the Cardinals. He took a 3-0 loss this season at St. Louis on May 17, when he allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings.
After going 4-1 over five starts in August, Hudson is 1-1 with a 5.93 ERA in five starts in September. In his latest appearance, he allowed two runs on nine hits in six innings but did not get the decision in a 4-2 loss at San Diego on Friday.
Hudson is 1-3 with a 5.10 ERA in nine career appearances vs. the Brewers, including six starts. He is 0-3 with 9.98 ERA in four starts at Milwaukee, having yielded 17 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings.
After his latest outing, Hudson said he was mostly aiming for consistency in his remaining starts.
"I'm looking to just execute as many pitches as I can and just try and put myself in a good place leading into the offseason," Hudson said. "And know how to come back and win as many games as I can next year."
--Field Level Media