Improving Jays eye return to .500 in opener vs. Brewers

After completing a 2-4 road trip, the Milwaukee Brewers aim for better fortune during a six-game homestand that opens Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Brewers finished their trip with a 10-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

Toronto will complete a six-game trip in Milwaukee after taking the rubber match of their three-game series with the Oakland Athletics. Isiah Kiner-Falefa had a career-best five RBIs in the Blue Jays’ 6-4 win in 10 innings Sunday.

The Brewers are scheduled to start right-hander Colin Rea (4-2, 3.53 ERA) on Monday. He is 3-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 11 starts and 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA in two relief outings. Milwaukee is 7-3 in his starts.

Rea has one career outing against the Blue Jays, a start on July 25, 2016, at Toronto with the San Diego Padres. He allowed three runs, five hits and four walks while striking out four in six innings in taking the loss.

The Blue Jays are scheduled to start right-hander Jose Berrios (5-4, 2.80) in the series opener. He is 2-2 with a 4.57 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.

The Brewers are 18-10 at home and have won 13 of their past 16 there. The Blue Jays are 16-18 on the road.

In Sunday’s loss, Brewers catcher William Contreras was given the day off after starting the first 64 games this season and 101 in a row dating back to the 2023 campaign.

Milwaukee’s Andruw Monasterio played first base on Sunday for the first time in the majors with Rhys Hoskins serving as the designated hitter. Monasterio has previously played third base (61 games), second base (39), shortstop (five) and left field (one).

“He’s had really good at-bats in limited time and we need him in there,” Brewers manager Pat Murphy said.

Monasterio was 1-for-4 with an RBI double on Sunday.

He was challenged defensively in the first inning. He knocked down a liner hit by Zach McKinstry and quickly retrieved it before applying the tag.

“(Monasterio) is a great bench player for us,” Murphy said. “It was the first time he ever played first base, and that was a great thing. (He) filled in big. You give him four at-bats, and he’s going to do some things. He’ll conduct a professional at-bat for a young player. I’m glad he’s on our club.”

After their series against the Brewers, who lead the NL Central, Toronto returns home to play the AL-Central leading Cleveland Guardians.

“Every game is important at this point,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “You have to keep that at the front of everything you’re doing every day, and at the same time, understanding that you have to be consistent and there’s still a whole lot of baseball left to be played.”

The Blue Jays, who have won four of their last five, crept to within one game of .500 with Sunday’s win.

“I think the urgency. … of understanding where we are, you know, the hole we put ourselves into,” Kiner-Falefa said. “These are games that we have to have, so being able to come through and find ways to win series, that’s all that matters right now. It was a big series win, and we’ve got to keep the momentum going.”

–Field Level Media