Preview: Brewers at Nationals
The Sports Xchange The Milwaukee Brewers are clinging to first place in the National League Central after losing seven of their last eight games, and hope road warrior Zach Davies can turn the tide before their season gets completely washed away....
The Sports Xchange
The Milwaukee Brewers are clinging to first place in the National League Central after losing seven of their last eight games, and hope road warrior Zach Davies can turn the tide before their season gets completely washed away.
The right-hander is 5-0 away from home this season as he prepares to face NL East-leading Washington - 7-2 since the All-Star break - on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at Nationals Park.
Milwaukee leads the Cubs by one-half game and kicks off a six-game homestand with three against Chicago beginning Friday after losing six of its first seven on a 10-game road trip.
The Brewers’ Ryan Braun, whose latest injury (wrist) forced him to miss three starts last week, went 4-for-6 with a home run and five RBIs on Saturday and Sunday, and his health is paramount to Milwaukee’s success.
Washington plays its first home game since the break and continues to sail along with a huge lead in the East and the help of Bryce Harper (.336, 25 home runs, 75 RBIs this season), who is batting .438 with seven homers, 17 RBIs and 23 runs scored during a career-high 16-game hitting streak. Edwin Jackson, whose second stint with Washington began splendidly last week, makes his second start of the season.
TV: 6:05 p.m., FSN Wisconsin.
Brewers RH Zach Davies (11-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Edwin Jackson (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
Davies received a no-decision after allowing one run (unearned) and eight hits in seven innings of Milwaukee’s 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old state of Washington native, who has a 3.18 ERA in 10 road starts this season and is 12-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 23 career turns away from home, won his previous four starts and boasts a 3.16 ERA over his last five outings. Davies is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts versus Washington, winning at Nationals Park last season.
Jackson took a big step toward securing the No. 5 spot in the rotation after yielding two runs (solo homers) and three hits in seven innings of Washington’s 4-3 road victory over the Los Angeles Angels on July 18.
“It felt good coming over here with a fresh start,” said Jackson, who was 10-11 with the Nationals in 2012. Braun is 11-for-33 with a home run, three RBIs, five doubles and four walks versus Jackson, who is 6-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 18 games (15 starts) versus Milwaukee.
- Washington 3B Anthony Rendon (.314, 20 home runs, 66 RBIs) is batting .390 in 100 at-bats with nine homers, 27 RBIs, 22 runs scored and 21 walks since June 15.
- Brewers 2B Jonathan Villar (.223) is batting .250 in 23 games since coming off the disabled list.
- The clubs meet for the first of seven times this season after splitting 54 games since the start of 2009.
Brewers Player Watch
- RHP Junior Guerra turned in another regrettable outing Sunday in a 6-3 loss in Philadelphia. Guerra (1-4) lasted just four innings and allowed five runs on five hits while walking three.
Guerra has failed to complete six innings in each of his last five starts, allowing 16 runs during that stretch.
- SS Jonathan Villar provided Milwaukee’s only offense while the game was still in the balance in Sunday’s loss.
Villar, who was 1-for-4 with a single and a run, knocked an RBI single to even the score at 2-2 in the top of the fifth. He also added his 19th steal.
- RHP Wily Peralta was reinstated from the disabled list Sunday after missing more than a month (ribs). In two innings in relief, Peralta allowed one hit while striking out four and walking one in the two scoreless frames.
PREDICTION: Nationals 3, Brewers 2.