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Against Cubs, Brewers try for eighth straight win

The Milwaukee Brewers will go for their season-high eighth win in a row when they host the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday afternoon.

Milwaukee is looking to complete a three-game sweep against Chicago and conclude its homestand with a perfect 6-0 record. The Brewers won the series opener 14-4 on Monday night and followed with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday night.

During their seven-game winning streak, the Brewers have outscored opponents 44-15.

Milwaukee will turn to left-hander Aaron Ashby to make his major league debut in the series finale. Ashby, who is the nephew of longtime big-leaguer Andy Ashby, was the Brewers’ fourth-round pick in 2018 out of Crowder College in Neosho, Mo.

The 23-year-old southpaw was 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 games (six starts) with Triple-A Nashville this season. He has started 39 of 49 games in the minors.

“We saw it in spring training: This is a really talented kid,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “I don’t think it’s any different necessarily in this role. As much as anything, it’s about your stuff. Your velocity maybe ticks up a little bit in a shorter stint, and you’ve got to pitch more often. That was the reason to do it.

“I think putting him in at the start of the game, it gives him a little familiarity. But we’re not asking for a normal start here. We’re looking for a short start to the game.”

As the Brewers plan for a bullpen game, the Cubs hope to snap a five-game skid and avoid a three-game sweep against their neighbors to the north.

Cubs manager David Ross said he thought his team could turn things around at the plate after it scored just five runs in the first two games.

“That’s the goal,” Ross said. “You’re not always going to get the hits, but you’ve got to put runs across. …

“Hitting is hard, especially with guys in scoring position. That’s something that comes and goes. But, if we want to win, we’ve got to come through with guys on base.”

On the mound, the Cubs will turn to veteran right-hander Jake Arrieta (5-8, 5.32 ERA). This will be the 35-year-old’s 16th start of the season.

Arrieta is looking for his first victory since May 25 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since then, he is 0-4 with a 7.23 ERA in six starts. He has given up 24 runs (19 earned) on 31 hits in 23 2/3 innings during that span.

In 21 career starts against the Brewers, Arrieta is 9-9 with a 3.29 ERA. He has walked 48 and struck out 112 in 125 2/3 innings.

The Cubs hope to welcome back slugger Kris Bryant, who missed Tuesday night’s game because of soreness in his side. Chicago also played without first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who has missed the past two games because of a back injury.

Brewers left-hander Josh Hader’s status is uncertain after he pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday to lock up his 20th save in as many chances. Hader is 3-0 with a 0.55 ERA in 33 games in 2021.

–Field Level Media