Aggressiveness at the plate early in at-bats is paying off for Mark Reynolds and the Milwaukee Brewers, who will try to exploit Jacob Turner in similar fashion Saturday when they continue their series against the Miami Marlins.
Though Milwaukee (29-20) is batting .246 overall, it has done substantial damage to opponents early in the count. The Brewers are batting .345 with 24 homers and 85 RBIs when putting the ball in play on the first pitch or with counts of 1-0 or 0-1.
They're hitting .200 with 47 homers during all other counts.
Swinging early yielded huge dividends in Friday's 9-5 series-opening win as the Brewers went 9 for 12 with three homers when putting the first or second pitch in play. Mark Reynolds hit two two-run homers - on a first pitch in the fourth and an 0-1 count in the fifth - Khris Davis added a solo shot on a 1-0 offering and Carlos Gomez had two of his four hits in those scenarios as Milwaukee overcame the absence of injured slugger Ryan Braun.
"Every team goes through ups and downs; that's the way it is," Reynolds told the team's official website, referring to the Brewers scoring 19 runs in the first seven games of this road trip. "Hopefully we're on our way up."
Braun is questionable to start but should at least be available for pinch-hitting duty.
Reynolds, who's struck out 54 times in 138 at-bats, and Gomez embody Milwaukee's success early in the count. When putting it in play on a first pitch or an 0-1 count, Reynolds is 15 for 31 with seven homers and Gomez 20 for 40 with five homers.
Turner (0-2, 6.59 ERA) hasn't had much success getting hitters out early - opponents are 22 for 43 with three home runs on first-ball, 0-1 and 1-0 counts.
This will be Turner's first start at home since May 3, and his previous two weren't good - he allowed 11 runs and 17 hits in 10 innings without receiving a decision.
The right-hander was reached for four runs - three in the first - in six innings of a 4-1 defeat to San Francisco on Sunday. Turner is 0-1 in two career starts against the Brewers, losing 2-0 in the most recent outing July 19 after giving up two runs in five innings. He's allowed five runs in 12 innings in those two games.
"He had a rough first inning and then he settles in," manager Mike Redmond told the Marlins' official website. "We're looking for that consistency at yet another young guy."
Wily Peralta (4-3, 2.18) is hoping the Brewers can deliver again offensively as he's received five runs in his last five starts. Peralta, though, gave up three runs and nine hits with a season-high four walks in five innings of a 9-3 loss at Atlanta on Monday.
"It was tough," said Peralta, who had walked 10 in his first eight outings. "I think I got men on base in pretty much every inning. I just battled and battled."
Peralta has been tough on the Marlins (25-24), going 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three lifetime starts. He stifled Miami on two hits and two walks over eight innings in the most recent outing, a 1-0, 13-inning win July 21.
While Peralta has handled Giancarlo Stanton - the slugger has gone 0 for 7 in their meetings - he had two of Miami's season-high four home runs Friday and has batted .347 with nine homers and 35 RBIs in 26 home games this season.
It was the club record-tying 12th career multihomer game for Stanton, who leads the NL with 14 home runs and the majors with 47 RBIs.