Milwaukee right-hander Brandon Woodruff will look to extend his run of success when the visiting Brewers open up a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Since returning from the injured list in late June, Woodruff (8-3, 3.73 ERA) has gone 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA across five starts. He lasted six innings in three of those outings and allowed more than two runs just once.
“The injury probably set us back a little bit, but I think in the end the injury’s going to help Brandon be really effective the rest of the year,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s relatively fresh, throwing the ball really, really well.”
“Very happy to hand him the ball every five days.”
Woodruff will be presented with a golden opportunity to keep rolling, as he goes head-to-head with a rookie who has yet to find his footing in the major leagues, Boston right-hander Brayan Bello.
Bello (0-2, 10.50 ERA) has pitched exactly four innings while allowing at least four runs in each of his three starts with the Red Sox after spending most of the season at Triple-A Worcester.
In his most recent outing, the 23-year-old allowed five runs on nine hits and took a loss against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
And things might not get easier for Bello on Friday with a red-hot Brewers lineup coming to town.
Both starting pitchers will be facing the opponent for the first time.
Milwaukee is coming off a six-game homestand in which it went 5-1 and scored an average of seven runs per game. The Brewers did a good portion of their damage with the long ball, mashing 12 home runs, three of which came in a 10-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Third baseman Luis Urias has been one of the most consistent offensive contributors during that stretch.
He is riding a six-game winning streak in which he is 8-for-21 (.381) with two homers and seven RBIs. Christian Yelich has also found a nice groove, as he takes a seven-game hitting streak with him to Boston.
The Red Sox’s offense has been trending in the opposite direction, but Boston salvaged a split of its four-game series with the Cleveland Guardians thanks to a 4-2 win on Thursday.
Prior to the victory, Boston had lost five of six since the All-Star break and 11 of 13 overall.
With the recent lack of success, Boston could become sellers at the Tuesday trade deadline.
“We’ve been through a lot this year. We’ve been through a lot in the beginning, we’ve been going through a lot now,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts said. “Everyone wants to stay together, no one wants to separate. Those decisions aren’t up to us, but the only way we can help that a little bit (is) if we continue to win games.”
With their loss to Cleveland on Wednesday, the Red Sox fell under .500 for the first time since June 4. However, they responded with a win less than 24 hours later and will now attempt to reclaim a winning record.
Posting back-to-back victories has been no easy task for the Red Sox of late, though, as they have not done so since July 9-10, when they took two in a row against the New York Yankees.
–Field Level Media