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Rookie right-hander Freddy Peralta seems to make history every time he steps on the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers barely weeks into his major league career.
Fittingly enough Michael Crabtree Jersey , too, since he’s about to face a Cincinnati Reds pitching staff — mainly, reliever Michael Lorenzen — that is doing some pretty historic things themselves. Only with their bats and not their arms.
The 22-year-old Peralta is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his first four major league starts, including two in which he has struck out 10 or more and allowed only one hit. He’s the first pitcher in baseball’s live-ball ERA to do that, and the first Brewers pitcher to have two such games in a career.
How good has Peralta been? He has permitted more than two hits in only one of the four starts. In 22 2/3 innings, he has allowed only seven hits and struck out 35.
Peralta is the first major league pitcher since at least 1908 to give up three hits or fewer and strike out at least five in each of his first four career games.
“His stuff looks electric from center field, and you can see that in the swings and takes and called strikeouts,” Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich told reporters after Peralta pitched seven shutout innings of one-hit ball to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Tuesday. “He’s been great every time he goes out there, and hopefully that continues.”
Peralta is doing it without an overpowering fastball, like so many other young pitchers are today. He’s throwing his four-seam fastball at an average velocity of 91.2 mph, or about what an average starter threw 15 years or so ago.
“He’s got a high spin rate and the ball just kind of jumps at you, even though it’s 92 mph,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
If the last-place Reds can get to Peralta on Sunday at Great American Ball Park — and no team has yet — they would split a four-game series in which they lost the first two games.
Cincinnati bounced back from a 3-2 deficit Saturday with an eight-run seventh inning powered by a pinch-grand slam from Lorenzen off a Jacobs Barnes fastball and went on to win 12-3 for its 10th victory in 13 games.
“Michael Lorenzen was pretty special John Brown Jersey ,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.
Pinch-hit grand slams are rare enough. But by a pitcher?
What’s even more remarkable is Lorenzen also homered Friday night during an 8-2 Brewers victory, and he homered in his previous at-bat before that while pinch hitting against the Chicago Cubs on June 24.
“I love playing baseball,” Lorenzen said. “Every day, I look forward to contributing in some form.”
That’s three homers in the last three at-bats for Lorenzen, who’s quickly becoming the National League’s bullpen equivalent of the Angels’ multi-dimensional Shohei Ohtani.
Lorenzen is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 games, and he’s 4-for-6 at the plate. He’s the first pitcher with multiple pinch homers in a season since Brooks Kieschnick in 2003 — and he has done it in only a week.
“The guy’s swinging the bat really well, that’s for sure,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We treat him as a position player. Obviously, we’ve got to make some adjustments … he’s swinging it well.”
Then there’s this: No Reds pitcher had hit a grand slam in 59 years, or since Bob Purkey in 1959, until starter Anthony DeScalfani did it June 23 against the Cubs. Now, Reds pitchers have hit grand slams twice in eight days.
Lorenzen’s homer was more than enough for the Reds to overcome Eric Thames‘ 14th home run against them in the two seasons and his fourth this season — the first three of which were game-winners.
Only two of the Reds’ 15 hits Saturday were for extra bases — Lorenzen’s homer and a Scooter Gennett double — but they were 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Peralta will go up against veteran right-hander Matt Harvey (3-5), who has recently given the Reds a glimpse of his former dominating self with the New York Mets. He has won each of his last two starts Brandon Carr Jersey , giving up three runs in 12 2/3 innings, after going 0-3 in his previous four starts.
PHOENIX — Like pitching?
The final game of the St. Louis-Arizona series Wednesday features a couple starters who have had strong seasons but also should be considered under-the-radar All-Star candidates, at least for those who have not been paying close attention.
You could look it up.
Arizona left-hander Patrick Corbin and St. Louis right-hander Miles Mikolas rank in the top 10 among NL qualifiers in ERA, WHIP, WAR and innings pitched. The only statistical difference is in strikeouts, where Corbin is tied for second and Mikolas is down the pack. Mikolas compensates by pitching to contact and getting the majority of his outs on the ground.
They are compatible in one more way — each has received below-average run support. Corbin has received the fourth-fewest, 3.65 per start. Mikolas’ support checks in under the league average.
Arizona used a three-run homer from Paul Goldschmidt to take a 4-2 victory Tuesday as the teams have split the first two games of the series. Arizona will conclude a 10-game homestand with a four-game set with San Diego beginning Thursday, when the Cardinals open a four-game series in San Francisco before finishing a nine-game trip in Chicago against the White Sox.
Mikolas, 29, has been perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the major leagues this season, signing with the Cardinals over the winter after three strong seasons for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese Central League. He was 3-13 with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts in Japan after being released by Texas in November 2014.
“Obviously this season he’s been fantastic,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “He should be sitting on 10 wins right now. Two of the losses he had, he had us right there. He just matched up with a pitcher we couldn’t get much going against. Miles has been very good.”
Mikolas has made 11 quality starts Tavon Young Jersey , tied for fourth in the league. After starting the season 6-0, he has lost three of his five decisions in June despite posting five quality starts and giving up one earned run in two of his losses.
“A guy who just attacks the strike zone,” Matheny said.
“He has very good stuff. Doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Not afraid to use his defense. He has been just an incredible surprise for us. What a great pickup for our organization and a salute to our scouts who are finding people like Miles who are out there.
“He figured something out while he was in Japan. The way he goes about his business, not just how he competes but how he prepares, you could see that being something that sticks around for awhile.”
Mikolas and Corbin are tied for second in the league in WHIP (0.99). Mikolas is sixth and Corbin ninth in ERA and innings pitched, and Mikolas is seventh and Corbin ninth in WAR.
Each has one of the five shutouts thrown in the NL this season. Washington’s Max Scherzer, Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon and Atlanta’s Mike Foltynewicz have the others.
Corbin, 6-3 with a 3.14 ERA, has made two straight quality starts, giving up only one run and in 13 innings, but did not receive a decision in either game. He had extra rest the last time through the rotation after pitching seven scoreless innings while striking out 12 in a no-decision at Pittsburgh, when he threw a season-high 102 pitches. He gave up one run in six innings against San Francisco on Friday, pitching on six days’ rest.
“He (gets) into trouble Marlon Humphrey Jersey , doesn’t get rattled, and continues to pound the zone and get big outs. He’s done a very good job,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said.
Jeff Mathis, one of two healthy catchers on the Arizona roster with Alex Avila on the disabled list, will catch Corbin for the third straight start.
“I like the way Jeff gets Patrick to do certain things at certain times and shows confidence in certain pitches, and helps him execute by showing that confidence,” Lovullo said. “Jeff has such respect from anyone on this staff that when he asks for something they listen.”
Corbin has received 3.65 runs per start, tied for the third fewest in the league. He is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four career starts against St. Louis and is 4-3 with a 3.69 ERA in 10 starts at home this sesaon.
Mikolas, who spent previous major league seasons with San Diego and Texas, has never started against Arizona and has given one run in 4 1/3 innings in two career relief appearances, a Justin Upton homer in 2012. This will be his first appearance at Chase Field.
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