The Milwaukee Brewers attempt to continue a couple of winning streaks Tuesday when they host the Chicago Cubs.
Milwaukee has won three in a row overall and each of its past three games against the Cubs as well.
Chicago comes into the game riding a three-game losing streak after dropping the final two contests of its weekend series in Pittsburgh.
Tuesday will feature a battle of the teams’ ace pitchers.
Brandon Woodruff (0-0, 2.45 ERA) goes for the Brewers after a dominating outing at Wrigley Field last Wednesday. Woodruff faced the minimum through the first six innings and had not allowed a hit
In the bottom of the seventh, Ian Happ singled for Chicago’s first hit. Woodruff got out of the inning unscathed but it took its toll.
He did not blame manager Craig Counsell for pulling him after just 74 pitches. He struck out eight in those seven innings.
“I had to kind of empty the tank in a sense,” Woodruff said. “Even though it wasn’t that many pitches, the ups and downs is what gets you a little bit. … I was a little tired coming out.
“I think that was the right time. I think that was the right moment … because I was losing myself in my delivery a little bit on some pitches there. Not too much, but a few pitches there toward the end.”
Woodruff faced Kyle Hendricks last week in Chicago and will do so again Tuesday.
Hendricks (0-1, 3.00 ERA) bounced back from only lasting three innings on Opening Day against Pittsburgh to giving Chicago six scoreless frames against the Brewers.
“It felt a lot better, from the first pitch,” Hendricks said after allowing four hits to Milwaukee. “I was working the ball better. I was in my lanes better. Fastball command from the jump was way better than the last start. Definitely on the right track.”
Chicago manager David Ross liked what he saw from Hendricks in his second start of the season.
“He looked more comfortable, in rhythm,” Ross said. “That was a better version of Kyle, for sure.”
This will be Hendricks’ 25th career start against the Brewers. He is 9-6 with a 2.72 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 142 1/3 innings.
Hendricks was 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA in two starts against the Brewers in 2020, including a shutout with nine strikeouts on Opening Day.
Before the series started, the Cubs placed three pitchers — Jason Adam, Dan Winkler and Brandon Workman — on the COVID-19 injured list.
Chicago called up left-handers Justin Steele and Brad Wieck from the South Bend alternate training site and right-hander Pedro Strop was selected as a replacement player.
Steele, 25, ended up making his MLB debut in Tuesday’s loss, striking out Daniel Robertson to end a six-run sixth.
He went 1 1/3 innings in his debut, giving up a hit and striking out two.
–Field Level Media