Contreras brothers bring family touch to Brewers-Cards rivalry


Catchers William and Willson Contreras are adding a spirited sibling rivalry to the Milwaukee BrewersSt. Louis Cardinals series.

William and the Brewers got the upper hand in winning the first two games of this three-game series in St. Louis. Willson and the Cardinals will try to push back in the finale Sunday afternoon.

William Contreras, 26, went 5-for-11 with two runs and three RBIs as the Brewers earned 2-1 and 12-5 victories. He is batting .372 for the season.

Willson, 31, went 2-for-5 with four walks, a hit by pitch, one run and an RBI in those games to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He is hitting .356 in April.

“We talk almost every day,” Willson said. “Our relationship is super close, we love each other, and we help each other. And the good thing is that we count on each other. It’s just a really healthy professional rivalry where he’s trying to win it for his team and I’m trying to win it for the Cardinals. We don’t share many thoughts before the games; we just go out there and compete.”

Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta has enjoyed watching the brothers have at it.

“I’m really excited for both of them, for the parents, too,” Peralta told MLB.com. “Being in a big league game, both catchers. You see it and you feel good about it. I have a younger brother, too. He’s in the minors and he’s a pitcher, too. The feeling they probably have, that’s something I would like to have, too.”

The Brewers will start right-hander Colin Rea (2-0, 2.70 ERA) on Sunday as they try to extend their winning streak to four games.

Milwaukee lost Rea’s most recent start, 6-4 to the Baltimore Orioles last Sunday. Rea allowed three runs on five hits, including two homers, and one walk in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six.

Rea is 1-3 with a 5.19 ERA in seven career games against the Cardinals, including five starts.

The Cardinals will turn to new staff ace Sonny Gray (2-0, 0.00 ERA) while trying to snap their three-game losing streak.

Gray has pitched 11 scoreless innings in his first two starts. He allowed nine hits while striking out 11 and walking nobody.

“You sign him for a reason, and then he goes out there and does exactly that,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said of Gray, who pitched for the Minnesota Twins for the previous two seasons. “He gives everyone around him confidence, even the hitters on the offensive side. They know what kind of game they’re going into. They know if they can score a couple here, the game is over. Give Sonny a couple of more weeks and he’s probably finishing that game himself.”

Gray was sidelined by a mild hamstring muscle tear during spring training and is still building his endurance. Marmol expects him to work deeper into games as the season progresses.

“There is a decent chance if things go even average to above average, he’s still efficient enough to not tax the ‘pen,” Marmol said. “The effectiveness of what he does with those pitches — pretty efficient about how he goes about his business, and if one is not working, he has several others to turn to.”

Gray is 4-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 13 career starts against the Brewers.

—Field Level Media



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