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MLB: Brewers, Cubs gear up for rain-induced doubleheader

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The Milwaukee Brewers and host Chicago Cubs will square off in a split doubleheader Tuesday after Monday’s scheduled series opener was postponed because of severe weather.

Both teams waited nearly two hours Monday before the game was postponed. They will return for a makeup game Tuesday afternoon, followed by the originally scheduled game Tuesday evening.

Each contest will be seven innings unless it goes to extra frames.

Milwaukee has lost two games in a row and is looking to avoid its first three-game skid since July 9-11. The Brewers have dominated the Cubs this season, going 9-3 and posting a 69-43 advantage in runs.

In Game 1, Brewers right-hander Freddy Peralta (8-3, 2.21 ERA) is scheduled to go up against Cubs left-hander Justin Steele (2-0, 2.03 ERA).

Peralta is looking for his third quality start in a row. He earned his eighth victory on July 29 with six scoreless innings against Pittsburgh, and he followed up by limiting the Pirates to two runs in six innings during a rematch Wednesday.

On the season, Peralta has a career-high 154 strikeouts in 114 innings. The 25-year-old is 4-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 career appearances (five starts) against the Cubs.

Steele, a 26-year-old rookie, is set to make his first career start for Chicago. He has 21 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings out of the bullpen this season.

In two relief outings against Milwaukee, Steele has tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings while striking out four.

“For a lot of the young guys, we’re using this as an opportunity for them to get experience but also learn,” Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. “Learn about pitch sequencing. Learn about how stuff works. Giving them the tools of learning.”

In Game 2, Brewers left-hander Aaron Ashby (0-0, 54.00 ERA) will look for a better performance in his second career start. He will oppose Cubs right-hander Alec Mills (5-4, 4.41).

Ashby, the nephew of longtime major-leaguer Andy Ashby, lasted only two-thirds of an inning in his first start, June 30 against the Cubs. He gave up seven runs (four earned) on four hits while walking three and striking out none. He threw 18 of 39 pitches for strikes.

The Brewers remain confident in Ashby’s future. He was the team’s fourth-round draft pick in 2018.

Mills needs a victory to set a career high with six. He is coming off a strong outing against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night, when he allowed two runs in six innings and got the win.

In six career games (three starts) against Milwaukee, Mills is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA. He threw a no-hitter against the Brewers last September.

Milwaukee hopes to have at least one key relief pitcher back for Tuesday’s contests. The team reinstated right-hander Hunter Strickland from the COVID-19 list on Monday, and fellow right-hander Jake Cousins is expected to be back soon from the same list.

“They’re in good shape,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of the two relievers. “They’re in a good spot.”

The Brewers sent left-hander Blaine Hardy to Triple-A Nashville to clear a roster spot for Strickland.

–Field Level Media

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