Yost opts for lefty-heavy lineup Saturday

Yost opts for lefty-heavy lineup

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manger Ned Yost had his work cut out for him when he sat down to make his team's lineup for Saturday night's matchup with the Reds, as he sought every possible advantage.

Reds starter Edinson Volquez has been electric in his first season with Cincinnati. Coming into Saturday night's game, he had compiled an 11-3 record with a 2.36 ERA, striking out 116 batters in 110 2/3 innings.

Volquez has been good against virtually everyone, but the numbers slightly favor left-handed hitters.

Yost stacked his lineup accordingly, with the left-handed-hitting Craig Counsell starting at second base and Russell Branyan at third. Volquez has held lefties to a .236 batting average, but has been even better against righties, who are hitting just .182.

"He's about 40 points better against righties," Yost said. "It's not a big difference, but you take any advantage you can get."

The lefty-righty differential is one split that Yost can utilize, but another is out of his control. Volquez has been slightly better on the road (2.29 ERA, .188 BAA) than at home (2.43 ERA, .245 BAA).

And to make matters worse, catcher Jason Kendall is the only member of the Brewers who had previously faced the dominant righty, although he did have four hits in six at-bats entering Saturday.

Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.