Diamondbacks-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers have taken advantage of some struggling
teams as they inch closer to .500. With the Arizona Diamondbacks
headed to Miller Park for four games, that trend seems likely to
continue.

The Brewers have a good chance to stay hot Monday night as they
seek an eighth consecutive victory over the Diamondbacks.

Milwaukee (53-59) won five straight July 22-26, notching four
victories over last-place teams Washington and Pittsburgh, before
enduring a five-game skid. The Brewers have bounced back to score
47 runs in winning five of six, posting a three-game sweep of
Houston with Sunday’s 11-6 win.

“I’ve been saying that we are very consistent: extremely
inconsistent,” manager Ken Macha told the Brewers’ official
website.

Macha’s club has been quite consistent recently against the
Diamondbacks (43-69), however. Milwaukee has outscored Arizona
50-17 in winning the past seven meetings, led by Casey McGehee’s
three homers and 12 RBIs in six of those.

McGehee has been on quite a tear over his last six games as
well. The third baseman has 11 RBIs after a three-run homer and an
RBI double Sunday.

Monday’s series opener features the same pitching matchup as
when the clubs last met May 9 in Phoenix.

Chris Narveson (9-7, 5.68 ERA) tries to join teammate Yovani
Gallardo as the second Brewer to reach double-digit wins. The
left-hander gave up a run and six hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-3
win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

He also went 1 for 3 with an RBI, increasing his average to .313
(10 for 32).

“Helping yourself out at the plate has always been a big
competition with the pitchers here,” Narveson said of a staff that
counts Gallardo and Randy Wolf as quality hitters. “That was
huge.”

Narveson is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in three games – two starts –
against the Diamondbacks. His hit May 9 off Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.40)
drove in the eventual winning run in a 6-1 victory.

Kennedy pitched well in the loss, surrendering two runs over
seven innings in his lone career start against Milwaukee.

This time, he’ll look to recover after his shortest outing of
the season. The right-hander’s innings are being limited in the
second half, but manager Kirk Gibson didn’t have a choice Wednesday
after watching Kennedy give up four runs and eight hits over four
innings in a 7-2 loss to Washington.

“I thought he was up, struggled with his location,” Gibson told
the Diamondbacks’ official website. “… He’s really grinding. He’s
probably mad at me. I know how it is, I understand.”

Arizona won its next three games after Kennedy’s rough outing
but couldn’t make it four straight Sunday. After consecutive
one-run wins over first-place San Diego, the Diamondbacks lost 10-1
to finish their homestand 4-3.

“We played well this homestand,” said center fielder Chris
Young, the only Diamondback to homer off Narveson. “Lately we’ve
been turning things around, playing hard, playing the game the
right way, playing small ball, getting big hits when we need them.
It’s been nice.”