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Slumping Brewers return home to face Giants in DH

Aug 31, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta (51) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The struggling Milwaukee Brewers will turn to right-handers Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta when they return home to host the San Francisco Giants in a doubleheader on Thursday with the hopes of remaining in the playoff hunt.

Burnes (9-6, 3.02 ERA) starts the first game, while left-hander Scott Alexander (0-0, 1.69) makes his first start this season for the Giants after five relief appearances. Peralta (4-3, 3.56) gets the ball for Milwaukee in the nightcap, while right-hander Jakob Junis (4-4, 4.05) is likely to get the nod for the Giants.

Milwaukee, which seemed a playoff lock heading into August, ended a 2-5 road trip against sub-.500 teams with an 8-4 loss to Colorado on Wednesday in Denver. The Brewers went 1-3 in Arizona and then dropped two of three against the Rockies.

“When you have a trip like this, it doesn’t feel good at this time of the year when you know you are in it, you know you have a chance,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said following the Wednesday defeat. “But we’re going to leave today, we’re going to wake up tomorrow and we’re going to be right in the middle of this thing.”

San Francisco lost 7-3 to the host Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, giving up four runs in the eighth inning. David Villar accounted for all the Giants’ runs with a pair of homers.

“We’ve talked for the last couple of days about how instrumental David can be to the future of this franchise and we see him as a guy who is kind of setting the stage for what might happen next season,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.

Milwaukee, which held a four-game lead over St. Louis in the NL Central in late July, is now 9 1/2 games behind the Cardinals. The Brewers also are four games out of the final wild-card spot behind the San Diego Padres and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Compounding the Brewers’ loss Wednesday was the early exit of left-hander Eric Lauer, who left with an elbow strain after allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. Lauer leads the team with 10 victories.

“He’s going to miss a start, we know that,” Counsell said. “We’ll get him (Thursday) to see the doctors and try to get a better idea of what’s going on.”

Burnes, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner and two-time All-Star, has struggled recently. In his past seven starts, Burnes is 1-2 with a 5.26 ERA. In his latest three outings, Burnes has allowed 17 runs, 14 earned, on 20 hits in 15 1/3 innings.

Burnes has faced the Giants 11 times in his career, with the last four being starts over the past two seasons. In those four outings, he has allowed three earned runs in 27 innings. Overall vs. San Francisco, he is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA.

Alexander has made just one other start, back in 2018, in 216 appearances over his eight-year career. He has no decisions and a 1.80 ERA in nine career outings against the Brewers.

Peralta, pushed back from his scheduled start on Monday, is 1-1 with a 2.43 ERA in six starts after spending more than two months on the injured list with a shoulder problem. Peralta has only faced the Giants once, tossing a scoreless inning in relief in 2019.

Junis, who has not won since June 10, is 0-2 with a 6.67 ERA in his past six starts. In his latest outing, he allowed three runs, two earned, in 4 1/3 innings but did not get the decision in a 5-4 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.

–Field Level Media