Seven years after making his major league debut as an outfielder Blake Comeau Jersey , Eric Thames is getting reacquainted with the position for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Normally Milwaukee’s first baseman, Thames has started three straight games in the outfield — including two in a row in left — and has seen the bulk of his action there since returning from a 41-game stint on the disabled list earlier this month.
Manager Craig Counsell has Thames in the outfield as he tries to keep Thames left-handed power bat in the lineup alongside right-hander slugger Jesus Aguilar.
Thames will likely stay in the outfield Friday night as the Brewers continue a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
Thames played left field and drove in three runs as Milwaukee began the series with an 11-3 win on Thursday.
Aguilar took over as the everyday first baseman when Thames suffered a thumb injury April 25 and has thrived ever since. Aguilar is tied with Travis Shaw for the team lead with 14 home runs.
With the benefit of added offense also comes liability: Thames spent three years playing first base in the Korean League and made just 15 outfield appearances when the Brewers brought him back to the major leagues last season, so there is a little fine-tuning with Thames’ defensive skills.
“It’s not new for him but it is unfamiliar, and we recognize that,” Counsell said. “We understand this isn’t a regular position at this point. There’s going to be some rough edges there, but he’s shown that he can handle the basics.
“There was a ball he misplayed in Pittsburgh, but he came back and made two very nice plays. That’s what we’re going to get and that’s what we’ve got to be willing to live with.”
Counsell is willing to sacrifice a little on defense if it means getting the kind of pop Aguilar and Thames are capable of.
“I think having both of those bats in the lineup is reward enough for that,” Counsell said.
Junior Guerra (3-5, 2.89 ERA) will make a second consecutive start a day after the Brewers scored 10 runs or more. He’s hoping Friday turns out better than the last time Carl Soderberg Jersey , when Milwaukee followed an 11-run outburst against Philadelphia with a 4-1 loss.
Guerra pitched well in that outing. He allowed three runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings but took the loss for the second time in three starts and is looking for his first victory since May 14 despite posting a 2.67 ERA in the six starts since.
Guerra has already started two games against the Cardinals this season, and is 1-0 in those games while allowing just one run over 11 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings in a 3-2 victory over the Cards on April 11. Guerra did not get a decision when he faced St. Louis on May 30, although he pitched shutout ball in his six innings, and the Brewers eventually won 3-2.
He is 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals.
St. Louis has dropped eight of 11 after committing four errors on Thursday and will start right-hander Jack Flaherty (3-2, 2.66).
Flaherty has allowed just one earned run over his last two starts, spanning 11 1/3 innings and has held opponents to no more than a run in six of his nine starts this season.
He held the Cubs scoreless over five innings his last time out on Sunday, striking out nine but didn’t take a decision in the Cardinals’ 5-0 victory.
“I was able to battle and execute when I needed to,” Flaherty said. “I threw a lot of pitches in a short amount of time. I was hoping to go deeper, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Flaherty is facing Milwaukee for the second time this season and the third time in his short career.
He made his first start against the Brewers in the 2017 finale at Busch Stadium Joel Armia Jersey Kids , going five innings and giving up five hits and four runs and taking the loss. Flaherty made his 2018 debut at Miller Park back in April. He held Milwaukee to a run on six hits while striking out nine but took no decision in the Cardinals’ 5-4 loss.
SAN DIEGO — The Pirates pitching homecoming continues Saturday night at Petco Park.
On Friday, two San Diego County natives — and former high school teammates — pitched for Pittsburgh in downtown San Diego. Starter Joe Musgrove and reliever Steven Brault were raised a half-hour’s drive to the east of Petco Park.
Saturday night, the focus shifts to northern San Diego County as Rancho Bernardo High grad Trevor Williams starts for the Pirates against his hometown club.
While Musgrove and Brault were facing the Padres for the first time, the 26-year-old Williams pitched six innings against the Padres on May 20 in Pittsburgh. He gave up four runs on four hits — including a two-run homer to Christian Villanueva — in six innings but did not get a decision in a game won by the Padres, 8-5.
The right-handed Williams (6-5, 4.03 ERA in 16 starts) will be opposed by left-handed rookie Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 3.57 ERA). Lucchesi had just gone on the disabled list with a strained glute muscle when the Padres visited Pittsburgh in May.
Williams started the season with three straight wins but is 1-3 with a 6.09 ERA over his last seven starts. However, he allowed only one hit with seven strikeouts in seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers two starts ago on June 18. That happened to be his only win since May 15.
Saturday night will be his eighth road start of the season. He is 2-2 with a 4.42 ERA on the road. But he is 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA in his last four road starts after opening the season with a 2-0 mark and a 1.50 ERA in his first three road starts.
Williams is coming off a loss in his most recent start against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Sunday afternoon. Williams gave up three runs on five hits in six innings while the Pirates were being shutout.
Lucchesi, 25 Josh Morrissey Jersey , will be making his third start since returning from the disabled list June 20.
His first outing on the day he was activated lasted only 1 2/3 innings as he gave up four runs on three hits — including two homers — and two walks in just 1 2/3 innings against Oakland. On June 26, Lucchesi allowed no runs and only one hit and two walks with four strikeouts in Texas, but came out of the game after four innings when he reached his pre-set limit of 70 pitches.
Padres manager Andy Green said Lucchesi now has the green light to go deeper into Saturday’s game if the performance merits it.
Saturday will be Lucchesi’s 12th start around his 33-game stay on the disabled list. At the time of his injury, Lucchesi was 3-2 with a 3.23 ERA in nine starts – although his ERA had climbed in five of his six starts before going in the disabled list. The Padres are 4-7 in games started by Lucchesi — who has given up 10 home runs in 53 innings, accounting for 15 of the 23 runs he has allowed.
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