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Jun 28, 2024 3:30 am

Brewers look to continue home surge vs. Cubs

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The Milwaukee Brewers will ask right-hander Colin Rea to maintain their home-field hot streak when they face the Chicago Cubs on Friday in the opener of the three-game series.

Rea (6-2, 3.62 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Jameson Taillon (4-3, 2.90), who will make his third start this season against the Brewers.

Chicago beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 on Thursday thanks to Ian Happ’s two-run homer in the 10th inning. Nico Hoerner had an earlier two-run shot for the visiting Cubs. The bullpen kept the Giants off the board after starter Shota Imanaga was tagged for three runs in the sixth.

Milwaukee, which was idle Thursday, is coming off a three-game home sweep of the Texas Rangers. The Brewers won the series finale 6-5 in 10 innings on Wednesday on a walk-off single by Andruw Monasterio. Jake Bauers hit a grand slam, and rookie Jackson Chourio had an inside-the-park homer.

The highly touted Chourio, who spent most of 2023 with Double-A Biloxi and had only 21 at-bats at Triple-A Nashville, is hitting .302 (19-for-63) in June. He has three doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs this month while raising his average from .210 to .236.

“I’m feeling better every single day. Hopefully, we can maintain this,” Chourio said after the Wednesday game. “Truthfully, there hasn’t been a lot different. I think more things are going my way and some of those hits are falling now.”

Milwaukee has won five straight at home and is 20-5 over its past 25 games at American Family Field after a 5-7 start there. The Brewers are 9-2-1 in home series.

Milwaukee is 4-3 this season against the Cubs. Chicago took two of three at home vs. the Brewers in early May, while the Brewers won three of four later that month at home in the rematch. In the most recent series, Brewers shortstop Willy Adames went 7-for-14 with two homers and seven RBIs.

Rea, bumped back from his scheduled start Wednesday in favor of newly acquired Dallas Keuchel, allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings on June 21 at San Diego but did not get the decision in a 9-5 loss.

Rea is 2-0 with a 3.22 ERA in four appearances in June, including three starts.

In three career starts against Chicago, Rea is 0-0 with a 2.93 ERA. He has faced the Cubs once this season, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings during a no-decision in the Brewers’ 6-4 victory on May 30.

Taillon is coming off one of his best starts, when he permitted one run in seven innings on Saturday, striking out a season-high 10, in an 8-1 win over the Mets. It was his first victory since May 4 vs. Milwaukee.

“He pitched really well,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said, according to MLB.com, after Taillon’s most recent outing. “Definitely got more swing-and-miss than we’ve seen in the last couple of starts. But I thought he was just locked in. I thought (catcher Tomas Nido) did a really nice job with him and he just controlled counts really, really well.”

Taillon is 4-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 16 career games, including 15 starts, against the Brewers. He has allowed three runs in 12 innings during his two starts against them this season.

The Cubs put right-hander Javier Assad on the 15-day injured list Thursday, retroactive to Monday, due to a right forearm strain. Assad was 4-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 16 starts. Right-hander Hayden Wesneski, who started for Chicago on Wednesday, is expected to remain in the rotation.

–Field Level Media

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