The host Milwaukee Brewers will have right-hander Corbin Burnes back on the mound as they close out a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon.
The teams split the first two games of a series that has featured good starting pitching.
Burnes (2-2, 1.53 ERA) has been out since going on the Injured List on April 29 with an undisclosed ailment. Speaking with reporters Wednesday, he said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Because Burnes was asymptomatic, he was able to train to stay in shape. He was quarantined from his teammates the past 10 days but threw a bullpen session on Monday when the Brewers were off.
"I was able to do physical activity without any restrictions," Burnes said. "I had some weights at the apartment so I was able to do some workouts. ... I had my wife's Peloton here, so I was able to do some big conditioning workouts and keep the cardio in shape."
Burnes is the first starting pitcher in major league history to start a season with 49 strikeouts and no walks.
He is chasing Los Angeles reliever Kenley Jensen, who started the 2017 season with 51 strikeouts before giving up his first walk.
Burnes professes that he is ready to get back out there. In his last start April 26 against the Miami Marlins, he took an 8-0 loss after giving up five runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts in five-plus innings.
"I threw a good bullpen Monday, everything felt good," he said. "I've been able to throw all my pitches and keep the arm moving, keep the cardio, keep the body in shape. It's business as normal."
Burnes is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in eight career outings, including five starts, against St. Louis.
Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty (6-0, 2.83 ERA) will make his 13th start against Milwaukee -- the most he has thrown against one team during his career.
Although he has three double-digit strikeout games against Milwaukee since 2018, he is just 2-6 with a 5.72 ERA overall vs. the Brewers.
In Flaherty's most recent start, he shut out the Colorado Rockies over seven innings (three hits, six strikeouts) on Friday for what was his major-league-leading sixth win.
He also hit his first career home run in that game.
The Cardinals are 7-0 in games Flaherty has started this year, and they have given him a ton of run support. St. Louis has outscored the opposition 66-21 in Flaherty's outings.
"I think any win we have is going to be a team win," said Flaherty, who retired the final 13 batters he faced on Friday. "Everyone is going to do something. Very rarely are you going to win a game by yourself.
"The pitcher could go out and throw a no-hitter and drive in a run, but the guys around you have to make plays and the catcher has to call a good game."
Milwaukee got good performances from its two starters in the first two games of the current series but won just once.
On Tuesday, Freddy Peralta got a no-decision after going seven scoreless innings, giving up one hit and one walk while striking out eight. The Cardinals won that contest 6-1 in 11 innings.
Brandon Woodruff also did not factor into the Wednesday decision (a 4-1 Brewers win) despite producing 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball, allowing three hits and one walk while fanning 10.
--Field Level Media
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