Rangers-Brewers Preview

After a promising start to a nine-game homestand, the Milwaukee
Brewers are in the midst of a five-game skid.

The Brewers look to avoid a season-high sixth straight loss as
they open a two-game interleague set against the Texas Rangers on
Tuesday night at Miller Park.

Milwaukee (14-16) held a 22-12 scoring advantage over Pittsburgh
to win the first two on the home stretch, but has been outscored
35-17 while matching a season high with five straight losses.

“We need to stop that downward momentum and turn it over,”
reliever John Axford told the Brewers’ official website.

Losers in eight of 11 since winning nine in a row, the Brewers
hope they bottomed out when St. Louis completed a four-game sweep
at Miller Park with a 10-1 win Sunday. Twice in that series,
Milwaukee gave up six runs in an inning.

“You forget about it,” said Sunday’s losing pitcher Marco
Estrada, who was tagged for eight runs in 3 1-3 innings. “Right
now, it’s in my head, and I’m sure it’s in a lot of guys’ heads,
that we just got swept in a pretty crucial series. But you try to
go out and forget about it. That’s the only thing you can do.”

One of the few recent Milwaukee bright spots has been star Ryan
Braun, who is batting .424 (14 for 33) while hitting safely in
eight straight games. He has four doubles and two home runs while
going 8 of 27 (.296) with five RBIs in six games versus Texas.

Teammate Wily Peralta (2-2, 6.00 ERA) takes the mound in the
opener looking to bounce back after he gave up six runs and 11 hits
in 4 1-3 innings of a 6-5 loss to St. Louis on Thursday.

“That’s just part of the experience,” Peralta said. “Those days,
you have to calm down yourself, try to make one pitch at a time.
Don’t try to go too crazy out there.”

This will be his first appearance against the Rangers (20-12),
who won two of three at Milwaukee in 2010.

Texas swept Boston at home over the weekend but lost 9-2 to the
Chicago Cubs in a rescheduled game Monday. The Rangers, who entered
that contest with a major league-best 3.02 ERA and held the Red Sox
to four runs and 18 hits, gave up five runs in the fourth inning
and 11 hits overall.

Scheduled starter Justin Grimm (2-1, 2.28) has been a big reason
for Texas’ staff success, but the right-hander allowed a three-run
homer to Tyler Flowers in the sixth inning and four walks in a 3-1
loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

“He really had good stuff working (Thursday),” Rangers manager
Ron Washington said. “Just left one in the wrong spot to
Flowers.”

The Rangers were held to five hits Monday, including two in
seven innings by ex-teammate Scott Feldman.

Ian Kinsler’s 11-game hitting streak was snapped after he went 0
for 4 on Monday. The Texas second baseman is 4 for 27 in his last
seven interleague games.

Texas’ Lance Berkman is a career .306 hitter against the
Brewers, but the 37-year-old designated hitter could also rest
during this brief interleague set. He did play in any of the three
games at Wrigley Field.