Nationals-Brewers Preview

Overpowering opponents at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers own
the best home record in the NL.

Following a phenomenal display by Corey Hart, the Brewers seek
their longest home winning streak in 16 years when they continue
their series with the sputtering Washington Nationals on Tuesday
night.

Milwaukee (25-23) has won seven in a row at home to match its
longest winning streak at Miller Park, last achieved during a
stretch bridging 2006 and 2007. The Brewers haven’t won eight
straight home games since July 2-19, 1995, when they played at
Milwaukee County Stadium.

They are 17-6 at home, compared with a 8-17 mark on the road.
The Brewers’ 5.6 runs per game in Milwaukee is double their 2.8
average in other parks.

Hart alone helped them exceed their average home output in
Monday’s series-opening 11-3 rout of Washington (21-26), tying
franchise records with three homers and seven RBIs.

“Hopefully this is a start,” said Hart, who had one RBI before
Monday and hadn’t homered since September. “Hopefully, I can start
swinging the bat better and keep it going.”

Hart, who has played in 22 games after beginning the season on
the disabled list with an oblique injury, is batting .462 with six
homers and 15 RBIs in 13 career home games against the
Nationals.

Fellow Brewers corner outfielder Ryan Braun will try to extend
his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games. He has 14 RBIs during
his current 13-game streak, and half of his 16 hits during the run
have gone for extra bases.

Some support from Braun, Hart and the rest of the Brewers would
be a welcome change for probable starter Chris Narveson (2-3,
3.44).

The left-hander has a 2.49 ERA over his last four starts, but
has posted a 1-2 record while receiving zero runs of support in
three of those outings.

Narveson was terrific Thursday, tossing 7 1-3 innings in a 1-0
loss at San Diego. He has no record a 6.17 ERA in two career starts
against Washington, though he did earn a win in 2009 with 2 2-3
innings of scoreless relief in the nation’s capital.

Monday’s loss dropped the Nationals to 1-5 on their eight-game
road trip. They’ve scored three runs or fewer in all of the defeats
with two coming via shutout.

“You go through these things. There’s no team that goes through
a season without hitting some periods like this,” manager Jim
Riggleman said. “The key is to get out of those bad times as
quickly as possible.”

Like Narveson, Washington starter Livan Hernandez (3-6, 3.64)
has gotten zero support in three of his last four starts. He’s
taken the loss in all four of those outings.

The right-hander yielded one run in seven innings but was the
hard-luck loser in Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to New York.

Hernandez has won his last two meetings with the Brewers,
limiting them to one run over 16 innings in those starts. He got
credit for a 5-1 victory April 17 at home, allowing one run in
seven innings to complete a three-game sweep.

Hernandez is 0-4 with a 5.83 ERA in five road starts this
season.