CINCINNATI — This was a new and unexpected experience for Craig Counsell: Sitting through the rain.
Storms moved into the Cincinnati area shortly before the start of the Milwaukee Brewers' scheduled game against the Reds on Friday night, prompting the third postponement this season at Great American Ball Park.
It was Counsell's first postponement since he took over as manager on May 4 for Ron Roenicke. Milwaukee's had only three rain delays all season.
"We've been fortunate with the rain this year," he said.
The game was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, with the makeup game at 6:10 p.m. It's Milwaukee's final visit to Cincinnati, where the Brewers have won their last four games. They lead the season series 7-6.
There's nothing at stake for either team. Milwaukee is fourth in the NL Central at 58-75, trailing first-place St. Louis by 28 games. The Reds are last at 55-77, trailing by 30 ½ games.
Unlike the Brewers, the Reds have gotten rained on a lot.
It was the 15th rain delay at Great American this season totaling 21 hours, 46 minutes. Including road games, the Reds have been involved in 21 weather delays lasting a combined 27:45.
The Brewers entered the series concerned about their bullpen because it's been used a lot lately. They called up right-hander Ariel Pena from Triple-A Colorado to give them an extra reliever.
Pena had pitched as both a reliever and a starter in Triple-A. The need for another reliever prompted his promotion.
"We were going to call him up the last couple days but with where we're at in the bullpen, that probably just sped it up a little bit," Counsell said. "I think this is the time of year when you've got the ability to get a guy here when you need it. We're using guys in the bullpen."
The Brewers entered the series on an upbeat stretch, having won four straight games and five of their last six. The offense has come around, scoring at least four runs in each of those last six games and 39 overall. Jonathan Lucroy has led the way with a career-high 11-game hitting streak that includes three homers.
Cincinnati has lost 15 of its last 18 games. The Reds haven't won consecutive games since Aug. 12-13.
Brewers: RHP Tyler Cravy threw in the bullpen without problem. Cravy, who's been on the DL since Aug. 19 with an impingement in his right elbow, could be activated next week.
Reds: CF Billy Hamilton took batting practice for the first time since he sprained his right shoulder on Aug. 18 while trying to make a diving catch. He can be activated off the DL at any time. ... LHP Manny Parra was activated after recovering from a sore left shoulder. RHP Dylan Axelrod was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville.
Brewers: Peralta makes his second straight start against the Reds, whom he beat 4-1 on Sunday in Milwaukee, allowing one run in seven innings.
Reds: Sampson has struggled in his last three starts, going no more than four innings. He's given up 15 runs and 25 hits in only 11 innings over that span.
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