Zack Greinke has never lost to the Cincinnati Reds, while the Milwaukee Brewers' only victory in the season series this year came when they beat Homer Bailey in May.
Those starters will meet Wednesday and that matchup should give the Brewers hope as they look to avoid a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati (41-32) has always has trouble with Greinke (8-2, 2.81 ERA). The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 49 strikeouts over 36 innings in five career starts against the Reds, with all three wins coming on the road.
Greinke struck out 11 and walked none while allowing two hits over eight scoreless innings May 9 in a 2-1 home loss in his lone 2012 outing against the Reds.
It's not surprising that key Cincinnati hitters in Jay Bruce (2 for 16), Brandon Phillips (2 for 12) and Ryan Ludwick (0 for 11) have all fared poorly against Greinke. Drew Stubbs has performed the best for the Reds, going 6 for 14, although he has struck out seven times.
Greinke - the subject of trade rumors - was masterful in his last outing, yielding three hits over nine innings to earn a 1-0, 10-inning road victory Friday over the White Sox.
"I felt better as the game went on," said Greinke, who has a 4.14 ERA on the road compared to a 1.08 mark at home. "I was a little off and on early."
The Brewers (33-41) have lost four straight since that contest, and are 1-4 against the Reds this year. The victory came May 8 when Bailey (5-5, 4.20) gave up six runs over 3 2-3 innings in Cincinnati's 8-3 defeat to drop to 0-4 with a 6.30 ERA in nine career starts against Milwaukee.
Bailey's biggest nemesis with the Brewers is Rickie Weeks, who is 10 for 19 with a homer against him. Reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun is 7 for 22 with a homer and four doubles.
Braun went 7 for 12 with two homers, three RBIs and four runs scored when the Brewers lost two of three to the Reds in May. He's 0 for 7 with four strikeouts in the first two games of this set.
Starting pitching has been the story of this series for both teams.
Mat Latos struck out a career-high 13 in a four-hitter Monday as he outdueled Yovani Gallardo in a 3-1 victory. Bronson Arroyo took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Tuesday before blowing a three-run lead in Cincinnati's 4-3 victory, in which Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada struck out a career-high 12.
"After a gem like that, a no-decision is terrible," Arroyo said.
Tuesday's contest featured an exciting finish. After the Brewers scored three runs in the eighth to tie it, Stubbs led off the bottom half of the inning with his first homer since spending nearly three weeks on the disabled list.
Bruce had a three-run homer in the sixth. He's got five RBIs in this series and 10 this year against the Brewers.
Milwaukee's last nine losses have come by one or two runs. Corey Hart is expected back in the lineup after he did not start Tuesday, although he delivered a pinch-hit, two-run double in the eighth inning.
The Associated Press News Service
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