The St. Louis Cardinals are far more imposing when third baseman Nolan Arenado is locked in at the plate.
Arenado has homered in four consecutive games and is 9-for-17 with 11 RBIs during that span. He will look to extend the hot streak on Tuesday during the middle game of a three-game series against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
“Nolan is feeling pretty good physically and mentally,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s a lot of fun to watch right now.”
Arenado hit a three-run homer and drove in four runs as the Cardinals pounded the Brewers 18-1 Monday. Nolan Gorman added a three-run homer and a two-run double, running his RBI string to five games.
The Cardinals have won seven of their past eight games immediately after a stretch in which they lost 11 of 12.
The Brewers will turn to Wade Miley (3-2, 3.60 ERA) in hopes of cooling off the St. Louis bats.
Miley is coming off his worst outing of this season: seven runs allowed on six hits (including three homers) in five-plus innings during an 8-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.
“You have to execute,” Miley said after that defeat. “At the end of the day, I didn’t execute pitches out of the stretch. Out of the windup, everything was good. Even the two solo homers, you live with those. After that, I got in the stretch and it was poorly executed pitches, and obviously the results weren’t there.”
Miley had allowed three runs or fewer in each of his previous six starts while posting a 2.31 ERA during that span. He is 3-6 with a 4.07 ERA in 11 career starts against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will counter with Jordan Montgomery (2-5, 4.11 ERA), who is coming off a 10-4 loss to the host Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. He allowed six runs on seven hits (including two homers) and three walks in five innings.
“Five (innings) with six runs ain’t it,” Montgomery said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Anything less than six innings a game is just a failure to me. I want to go out there and at least eat up innings for the guys.”
On April 8, Montgomery blanked the host Brewers for seven innings on three hits in a 6-0 victory. He stuck out a season-high nine batters in that game, which was the first of his five quality starts this season.
Montgomery is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.
Cardinals center fielder Dylan Carlson is questionable for the Tuesday game due to an ankle sprain he sustained on Sunday. He did not play on Monday.
“From what I’ve gathered from the training staff, it’s pretty much day-to-day,” Carlson said, according to MLB.com. “We’re just trying to be as proactive as possible.”
With first baseman Luke Voit sidelined due to a sore neck, the Brewers signed free agent Darin Ruf, who was designated for assignment last week by the San Francisco Giants.
“Darin does something that we haven’t been great at so far this year, and that’s hit left-handed pitching,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That’s what he’s made his name for since he came back from Korea, essentially. He’s been very good at it.”
–Field Level Media
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