After suffering another major pitching injury and taxing their bullpen Tuesday, the Milwaukee Brewers will seek a big response from right-hander Corbin Burnes on Wednesday night against the Cardinals in St. Louis.
Burnes (4-2, 3.35 ERA) will start the finale of the three-game series. The Cardinals won the opener 18-1, and the Brewers prevailed 3-2 in the middle game despite losing starting pitcher Wade Miley to a lat strain after 1 2/3 innings.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Miley will return to Milwaukee for further evaluation and will join fellow starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff on the injured list.
Five Brewers relievers held the Cardinals in check after Miley left Tuesday’s game, with Devin Williams closing it for a five-out save.
“They were incredible, they really were,” Counsell said. “Losing your starter five outs into the game and the job that all of them did, and doing some different things tonight, and all pitching multiple innings, was really, really impressive.”
But that effort will put Milwaukee’s bullpen at a disadvantage for the rubber game of the series.
“Any time (they’re) bringing (their) closer for five outs in a three-game set, you feel good about what tomorrow looks like,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.
Burnes is coming off a 5-1 victory over Kansas City on Friday. He blanked the Royals for six innings on two hits and four walks.
After allowing 10 runs in 9 1/3 innings in his first two starts this season, Burnes has given up two earned runs or less in each of his past six starts.
“It’s getting there,” Burnes said after his most recent outing. “I think for the most part, stuff was really good tonight. We’re getting more swings and misses, we’re not getting a ton of hard contact. It’s getting there. It’s getting to where I want to be. I think we’re close.”
Burnes is 4-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 15 career games against the Cardinals, including 12 starts.
The Cardinals had won four straight games and seven of eight before falling to the Brewers on Tuesday.
“They beat us,” Marmol said. “We didn’t give a whole lot away. They just found a way to beat us.”
The Cardinals announced Tuesday night that they are calling up top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore from Triple-A Memphis, and he will start Wednesday. The Cardinals are moving to a six-man rotation, at least for now, and pushed veteran Adam Wainwright’s start back a day to Thursday.
Liberatore, 23, made his major league debut last season and was 2-2 with a 5.97 ERA in nine games (seven starts). At Memphis this season, he is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA in eight starts. He has struck out 56 in 46 innings.
“It was a matter of time before he came up,” Marmol said of the left-hander. “It’s always nice to do it for both reasons — one to give our guys a break. Two, he’s pitching really well down there.”
Liberator made one appearance against the Brewers last season, scattering three hits over five scoreless innings to get the win.
Switch-hitting outfielder Dylan Carlson took batting practice before Tuesday’s game, but only from the right side of the plate. He remains questionable with a minor ankle sprain.
“Right now I feel pretty good about where we’re at,” Carlson said Tuesday.
The Brewers recalled pitcher J.B. Bukauskas from Triple-A Nashville and designated Gus Varland for assignment. They likely will promote another pitcher Wednesday to replace Miley.
–Field Level Media
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