The Brewers have limited the Reds to six hits over 18 shutout innings while posting back-to-back 1-0 wins for the first time in franchise history. The first of those contests was played on Sunday in Milwaukee. The teams then went their separate ways for the All-Star break before squaring off again on Friday in Cincinnati
The Reds, who struck out 18 times on Friday, could not give their home fans much to cheer about
"The pressure is on, whatever pressure you want to make it," Cincinnati outfielder Will Benson said. "But yeah, I'm excited for that ... playoff-type energy right away.
"I'm very appreciative of the Cincinnati fans, and the environment is what makes it everything for me. Just the intensity when you are putting everything on the line, and then do you feel connected to the city, especially when you're out there producing it. It's an amazing feeling."
The Brewers send right-hander Freddy Peralta (5-7, 4.70 ERA) to the mound in the second game of the series. Peralta will be making his 18th start of the season, and first this season against the Reds. He is 4-2 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 career games, 11 starts, vs. Cincinnati
Peralta last started on July 6 against the Chicago Cubs, winding up with a no-decision in a 6-5 Milwaukee win. He matched his season high with 10 strikeouts while giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings.
The Reds will counter with rookie Andrew Abbott (4-1, 2.38 ERA), who is set to make his eighth start of the season
The left-hander won his major league debut vs. the Brewers on June 5, when he threw six scoreless innings of one-hit ball. The Brewers also dealt Abbott his first major league loss in his most recent start on July 7 at Milwaukee. He allowed six runs and nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in the Brewers' 7-3 win
Reds manager David Bell indicated on Friday that right-hander Hunter Greene (right hip) is now throwing off a mound at the club's facility in Goodyear, Ariz. Bell added that Greene remains on pace for a return to the Cincinnati rotation in early August
The Brewers received a boost to their roster when outfielder Tyrone Taylor was reinstated off the injured list before the Friday game. He started and went 0-for-2. At Triple-A Nashville, Taylor hit three homers and knocked in seven runs during a seven-game rehab assignment. He had been sidelined since early June due to a sprained right elbow
"Tyrone swung the bat really well in his rehab this week," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I don't think you'll see Tyrone in there every day, but we're going to get him in there a little bit here and there and see how it goes.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee first baseman Rowdy Tellez remains out with soreness in his right forearm, an injury that landed him on the injured list in early July.
"He started baseball activities (Friday)," Counsell said. "As long as he has three good days of baseball activity, we'll target Tuesday (in Philadelphia) for activation."
Milwaukee's Brian Anderson was a late scratch before the Friday game due to lower back discomfort. Andruw Monasterio replaced him in the lineup at third base and went 0-for-4.
--Field Level Media