The St. Louis Cardinals have tried different approaches when Christian Yelich comes to the plate, but they still haven't figured the best way to deal with the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.
The Cardinals will try again Monday when they visit the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a three-game series.
St. Louis has won six of its past seven games -- including a 9-5 victory over the Reds in Monterrey, Mexico on Sunday -- but opened the season by losing three of four in Milwaukee. Yelich went 6-for-12 in the series with four home runs, eight RBIs and six walks.
"Candidly, I can't recall a series like that," Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told reporters after Yelich hit a walk-off two-run double in the series finale. "I've had some guys that are smoking hot against us, but I've never seen that kind of damage over four days."
The Cardinals tried pitching around Yelich in the final meeting of last season on Sept. 26, walking him intentionally five times, but he still scored both runs in the 2-1 victory that completed a three-game sweep.
The Brewers will likely pay close attention when St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong comes to the plate as well. He went 8-for-14 in the season-opening series with two home runs and four RBIs.
Brewers starting pitcher Freddy Peralta will have the task of slowing down Wong and the Cardinals.
Peralta (1-0, 6.91) has one outstanding start sandwiched between two poor outings this season, but the 22-year-old right-hander has avoided taking a loss.
He lasted only three innings in his season debut against the Cardinals on March 29, allowing four runs and six hits in the 9-5 loss.
Peralta blanked the Reds on two hits over eight innings in a 1-0 win five days later, but went only 3 1/3 innings on Tuesday at the Los Angeles Angels, giving up seven runs and eight hits in the 11-8 loss.
Against the Cardinals and Angels, Peralta got off to rough starts, allowing three runs in the first inning against the Cardinals and six in the first against the Angels.
The Brewers were swept by the Angels, but came back to take two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, ending with a 7-1 loss on Sunday.
'We won the series, so I think we did a decent job overall," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said of the road trip. "Finished with a good series, did not have a good series in Anaheim, and on to the next one."
St. Louis right-hander Dakota Hudson (0-1, 2.79) will make his third major league start after coming out of the bullpen in all 26 appearances during his rookie year last season.
He has not allowed a run in his past two outings.
Hudson earned a two-out save in a 5-4 win at the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 3, then returned to a starting role on Tuesday and blanked the Dodgers on six hits over 4 2/3 innings of a 4-0 victory.
"Still looking to find my feel for everything, and be more effective in the zone, and get some quicker outs," Hudson said after his latest outing. "Still looking to be a starter, rather than a relief guy out there, so just trying to figure out what my mix is."
Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw is 3-for-3 with a homer in his career vs. Hudson.