Apr 30, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tony Cingrani throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Brewers-Reds Preview

Coming off one of the majors’ best opening months, the surprising and NL Central leader Milwaukee Brewers come to GABP, for a four game series that begins tonight, to open the month of May.

With Jean Segura and Aramis Ramirez expected back in the lineup, the Brewers look to put distance from the Cincinnati Reds early in the season, so this is a huge series for the Bryan Price’s club

Matt Garza was the latest Milwaukee player to go down Wednesday when he was removed in the fourth inning because of a bruised right thumb he sustained while getting jammed on an at-bat.

The Brewers,  failed to complete a three-game sweep in St. Louis with a 9-3 loss yesterday afternoon

Ryan Braun remains out with a strained intercostal muscle, Segura (bruised cheek) is likely to start after playing shortstop in the eighth inning yesterday. Ramirez, is also expected back after missing two games with an elbow injury.

An MLB-best 20-8, the Brewers are only the fourth team with 20 wins in March and April. They’ve also won their first four road series for an 11-2 mark away from home.

Marco Estrada will be on the mound for Milwaukee, and will look to go deep into the game against the Reds after a bullpen that has been used a lot during the series  in St. Louis. So, it’s important the Reds jump on Estrada early.

Apr 25, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Homer Bailey (34) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The right-hander has been especially tough on the road, going 4-0 with a 1.12 ERA in his last nine starts dating to last season. In his previous outing in Cincinnati, he gave up one hit while fanning nine over seven innings in a 3-1 victory Aug. 25.

Jay Bruce is 6 for 17 with four homers in his career when facing Estrada.

Cincinnati has been scuffling at the plate with 14 runs and a .212 average over its last six games. Frazier had a two-run double and Brayan Pena hit a solo homer Wednesday, but the Reds managed seven hits overall in a 9-4 loss to the visiting Cubs.

Reds starter Homer Bailey has been knocked around in four of his five starts after allowing five runs and nine hits over six innings in Friday’s 5-4 loss at Atlanta.

The right-hander is 3-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 16 career starts versus Milwaukee, though he went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last three meetings in 2013.

First pitch is at 7:10pm, TV: FSN OHIO, RADIO: 700 WLW.

Tags: Brayan Pena Cincinnati Reds Homer Bailey Jay Bruce Reds Todd Frazier

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