The Reds guaranteed themselves that they would be in sole possession of first place in the division with Saturday's 8-5 win that gave them a two-game edge in the standings
Joey Votto hit a three-run home run and Elly De La Cruz made headlines by stealing second, third and home in the seventh inning during one plate appearance after his RBI single gave the Reds a 6-5 lead
"I said, ‘You know what? Screw it. Let's go,'" De La Cruz said after the win. "Luckily enough I was safe right there. Pretty much every time I'm on base, I have the opportunity to do that and fortunately it was a go-ahead run."
De La Cruz became the second player since 1961 to steal three bases in a single plate appearance. Hall of Famer Rod Carew did it on May 18, 1969.
"We weren't aware enough all over the place, on the field, in the dugout, anywhere," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, referring to his team's handling of De La Cruz's steal of home. "It's on all of us. Really, good baseball play by him.
Left-hander Wade Miley (5-2, 3.36 ERA) will be taking the mound for Milwaukee in the series finale. Miley is coming off Tuesday's outing against the Chicago Cubs in which he surrendered four runs on nine hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four while taking the no-decision.
Since returning from a left lat injury on June 17, Miley had only allowed two runs in three starts prior to his last outing.
In 13 career appearances (12 starts), Miley is 6-3 with a 3.10 ERA against the Reds. He has not yet faced Cincinnati this season
Few batters in the Reds' lineup have a lot of experience facing Miley, but Joey Votto has gone 4-for-18 (.222) with a home run and two RBIs against the southpaw. Votto and Miley were also teammates when the latter was with Cincinnati from 2020-21
The Reds will counter with right-hander Ben Lively (4-4, 4.11). Lively will be activated off the 15-day injured list after dealing with a right pectoral strain. Sunday will mark his first start since June 20
Lively has just one career start against the Brewers. He allowed five runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts in seven innings of a loss against Milwaukee back on June 4
Andruw Monasterio and Victor Caratini each homered off Lively in that outing.
Willy Adames will look to keep rolling against Lively after blasting a pair of homers on Saturday. Adames has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, going 12-for-38 (.316) during that span.
The Brewers have won four of the six meetings between the NL Central rivals this season. Both teams will reconvene following the All-Star break for a three-game set in Cincinnati
--Field Level Media