Cain sat out Sunday when the Brewers wrapped up a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals. It was a scheduled day off for the veteran center fielder, who ha played every game since May 23 but also a chance for him to rest a nagging groin injury and get two full days off his feet before facing his former team.
The 32-year-old has been everything the Milwaukee Brewers had hoped for when they signed him to a franchise-record $80 million contract during the winter.
Cain is among the team leaders in almost every offensive category this season: hits (71), walks (43), on-base percentage (.394). He is second in doubles (15), batting average (.291) and .OPS (.832).
He also has been something of a workhorse, appearing in 72 games — just one fewer than team leader Travis Shaw — while making 70 starts. He leads the team with 312 plate appearances and 265 at-bats.
“Winning games is the most important part,” Cain said. “It’s still early in the season and we have a long way to go, but winning consistently, winning series, that’s our main goal.”
Shaw should also be back in the lineup. He left Sunday’s game when he tweaked an already-sore right wrist during a third-inning at-bat. He missed two games with the same injury earlier in the week against Pittsburgh but started all four games against St. Louis.
“This is something I’ve been dealing with for a while now and a couple of swings here and there will get it every now and then,” Shaw said. “It’ll be nice to have almost two full days off with the rest of tonight, all of tomorrow and a night game (Tuesday). We’ll see where we’re at then.”
Having those two back and healthy, as well as red-hot slugger Jesus Aguilar, who got a break Sunday, will be a relief for rookie right-hander Freddy Peralta.
After making his first three big league starts on the road Josh Malone Jersey , Peralta will get a chance to show his talent to the hometown fans for the first time when he takes the mound for the series opener.
“I’m very excited,” Peralta said. “It’s like a dream, pitching in Miller Park.”
His MLB career got off to a memorable start. He struck out 13 in 5 1/3 scoreless innings with his family on hand to watch at Coors Field.
He’s 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA as a big leaguer with the Brewers, winning all three of his starts. Peralta has also struck out 84 batters in 59 innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs this season, going 6-1 with a 2.75 ERA there.
“I know that (major league hitters) are smart, but I just have to pitch the same and believe in myself, trust my ability in making pitches,” Peralta said. “I know they’re better hitters than in the minor leagues, and I just have to make the adjustments, but it’s all the same for me.”
He’ll go up against right-hander Jakub Junis, who has lost his last five starts and hasn’t won since May 18.
Junis has a 6.75 ERA during his losing streak with 24 strikeouts in 24 innings.
“It’s been tough, not only personally, but as a team,” Junis told the Kansas City Star. “We’re grinding through it.
“It’s definitely been a struggle for me. I’ve given up a lot of home runs this year, so I’m very conscious of that. I’m trying to keep it in the ballpark, because when I do Clark Harris Jersey , that’s when I have success.”
Kansas City has faced Milwaukee twice this season. They dropped both games of an interleague series in April at Kaufmann Stadium.
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda will take the mound Saturday against a Colorado Rockies team that he has had success against over the past three years.
Colorado Rockies starter German Marquez will take the mound Saturday on the road, where he has been excellent outside of the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.
Something has to give at Dodger Stadium in a nationally televised game, when Dodgers right-hander Maeda (5-4, 3.44 ERA) faces off against Rockies right-hander Marquez (5-8, 5.53).
The Rockies won the first game of the series 3-1 on Friday, and Maeda will try halt the Dodgers’ two-game losing streak.
Since returning from the disabled list after being sidelined by a hip strain, Maeda has posted a 2.87 ERA over three starts, including a scoreless seven-inning outing Monday against the Chicago Cubs when he struck out nine and picked up the win.
The nine strikeouts were reminiscent of his best stretch of the season before his injury, when he struck out 32 batters over 24 1/3 innings, including a season-best 12 strikeouts in 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Rockies on May 23.
“Ever since coming off the DL, feeling-wise, this is the best I have felt,” Maeda said through an interpreter, after holding the Cubs in check during a 2-1 Dodgers victory Monday. “Overall it was a much better feeling coming into this game than the other ones.”
Especially troublesome for the Rockies is that Maeda figures to be fresh for Saturday’s outing, having thrown just 84 pitches in his latest start. Then there is this: Maeda is 5-2 in eight career appearances (six starts) with a 2.11 ERA against the Rockies with 48 strikeouts.
Marquez has struggled lately, having gone 1-4 in June with an 8.53 ERA Jessie Bates III Jersey , but there is no doubting his road success this year. He has a 7.93 ERA at home, but that mark falls off dramatically to 3.07 in 41 innings on the road. In fact, the Rockies have won four of Marquez’s seven road starts this season.
Marquez is 1-0 with a 3.91 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers.
His two outings against them this season have been a mixed bag. On May 21 in Los Angeles, Marquez gave up one run over seven innings in a 2-1 Rockies victory. On June 2 at Colorado, he gave up four runs over six innings, although he didn’t factor into the decision as the Dodgers rolled to a 12-4 victory.
In his four starts since then, Marquez has given up at least five runs in each time. He gave up a combined 10 runs (nine earned) in his last two starts, both of which came at home.
“I know I have been in the league two years and if I execute my pitches, it doesn’t matter how long they have known me,” Marquez told reporters, through an interpreter, after he gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings in an eventual 8-5 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday. “It’s about me executing my pitches.
Marquez will face a Dodgers team that has 54 home runs in June, the most in franchise history for a single month.
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