(Sports Network) - While the Los Angeles Dodgers sit comfortably atop the
National League West standings, the Milwaukee Brewers are failing to contend
in a division they won last season.
The Brewers look to avoid a third straight defeat this evening when they begin
a four-game series against the rolling Dodgers.
Milwaukee won its first ever NL Central title a season ago and advanced to the
NLCS, where it was ousted by the eventual champion Cardinals, but comes into
this challenging set a season high-tying nine games under .500 at 19-28. That
has the Brewers eight games back of the first-place Reds following Sunday's
4-3 defeat in Arizona.
Taylor Green, Cody Ransom and Corey Hart knocked in runs with singles for the
Brewers, but reliever Jose Veras gave up Henry Blanco's go-ahead RBI single
during a three-run sixth inning for Arizona to take the loss. It was
Milwaukee's eighth in its past 11 games and manager Ron Roenicke felt that the
setback was a missed opportunity for his club.
"I feel we should have won this ballgame. We had chances to do it," Roenicke
said. "If we pitch a little bit better, we get a hit or not even a hit, just a
good at-bat and we win this ballgame."
The Brewers continue to limp into this series, having placed first baseman
Travis Ishikawa on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday due to a left rib-cage
strain. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez, meanwhile, sat out the last two games
against the Diamondbacks because of an elbow ailment.
The Dodgers have dealt with their own injuries, currently without Matt Kemp,
Juan Rivera and Juan Uribe amongst others, but have still won eight of 10 and
13 of their last 17 to open up a 7 1/2-game edge over the Giants for first
place in the NL West.
Los Angeles picked up a series win over Houston this weekend, winning Sunday's
meeting by a 5-1 margin. Chris Capuano improved to 7-1 on the season, allowing
a run and two hits over seven frames.
"Cap was great today," said Dodgers catcher Matt Treanor, who homered. "He
mixed it up and changed speeds. He's a smart guy making pitches when he has
Capuano walked just two over his outing and struck out eight.
"My location of pitches has been good," Capuano said. "I tried to keep the
ball down. Matt and I are having fun. Our flow of the game is getting pretty
easy. The way our guys are swinging the bats has been a bonus."
Jerry Hairston Jr. set a career high with five hits on the day, including a
double, and knocked in a run as the Dodgers moved to 21-5 at home this season.
Los Angeles may also get some good news during this series as Kemp is expected
to be activated from the disabled list in time for Tuesday's meeting. Rivera
could also join the club before the end of the four-game set.
Aaron Harang, though, will have to try and get by tonight without LA's bats
as he looks to extended a four-game unbeaten streak.
The veteran righty went 2-0 over the first three games of his undefeated run,
allowing three runs over 21 innings. However, Harang matched a season high on
Tuesday in Arizona by allowing five runs over 4 1/3 innings. He did escape
with a no-decision when the Dodgers battled back to win 8-7.
Harang is 3-2 with a 4.36 earned run average in nine starts this year and that
includes a win at Milwaukee on April 19 as he hurled six innings of three-run
ball. That leaves the 34-year-old with a career record of 6-5 versus the
Brewers with a 4.38 ERA.
Shaun Marcum faces the Dodgers for the first time this season as he tries to
avoid a third straight defeat for the Brewers.
Marcum was touched for a season-high six runs on five hits and two walks over
six innings of a setback to the Giants on Tuesday, with the 30-year-old righty
giving up a pair of two-run homers in the 6-4 defeat. He fell to 2-3 with a
3.93 ERA on the season, with the Brewers 2-7 in his nine starts.
Marcum is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA in three career games versus the Dodgers.
The Brewers won two of three over the Dodgers at home from April 17-19, giving
them a win in five of the past seven encounters overall.
The Sports Network