Brewers try to take series vs. Cubs, extend Central lead

Thu May 30 7:03am ET
Field Level Media

The Milwaukee Brewers will turn to Colin Rea as they look to take their four-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs on Thursday afternoon and create more separation in the National League Central.

Rea (4-2, 3.98 ERA) will be opposed by fellow right-hander Jameson Taillon (3-2, 2.58).

Milwaukee picked up its second win of the series with a 10-6 victory Wednesday, roughing up previously undefeated Shota Imanaga.

Christian Yelich, Blake Perkins and Willy Adames each belted a two-run homer for the Brewers.

Imanaga, who had allowed five earned runs total in his first nine starts, was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out one and walking one. His ERA climbed from a major league-leading 0.84 ERA to 1.86.

Chicago dropped into a tie for second in the NL Central with St. Louis, 4 1/2 games behind the Brewers. Chicago has lost six of its last seven games and 11 of 15. The Cubs are 1-4 on their current six-game road trip.

Rea has been among the most consistent starters in the Brewers' injury-riddled rotation -- even when he isn't starting. In his most recent outing, Rea followed opener Jared Koenig and they carried a combined no-hitter into the seventh at Boston on Saturday. Rea picked up the win, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 6-3 victory.

"I thought Jared did a great job of starting the game and setting the tone early, and I just tried to come in and kind of follow that," Rea said after the win in Boston.

Rea is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in two career starts against the Cubs.

Taillon is 0-2 with a 5.02 ERA over his last three starts, after going 3-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his first four.

In his most recent start, Taillon allowed three runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, tossing a season-high 105 pitches. But he did not get the decision in a 7-6 loss to the Cardinals.

"They made me work pretty hard, fouled off a lot of good pitches, had a good approach," Taillon told after his last start. "They got some hits on some pretty good pitches. Just made me work for everything. I kept the team in it -- proud of that. But it was definitely a grind."

Taillon is 4-7 with a 3.10 ERA in 15 games, including 14 starts, in his career against Milwaukee. He beat the Brewers earlier this month, tossing six scoreless innings as the Cubs held on for a 6-5 win at home on May 4.

Both Ian Happ and Cody Bellinger are hot at the plate for Chicago. Happ, who had a solo homer Wednesday, is .333 (9-for-27) with four doubles, three homers and seven RBIs over his last eight games. Bellinger recorded his third straight multi-hit game Wednesday.

Milwaukee closer Trevor Megill, who was hit by a line drive on his pitching arm Tuesday, avoided the injured list and said he's day to day.

"He squared it up and it smoked me, but it hit me on the forearm on a meaty spot so I'll be all right," Megill told on Wednesday. "The X-ray came back negative, so that's always good. I just need to throw and get through the process and I should be back sooner rather than later."

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MIL LogoMilwaukee Brewers

Thu May 30 1:10pm ET