MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers will try to win a series for the first time in three weeks when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game set at Miller Park.
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The Brewers took two of three from the Nationals July 4-6 in Washington, but have four straight since then. But they’ve won two in a row for the first time since the Nationals series.
A victory Wednesday would mark their first series victory against the Diamondbacks, who have taken five of the last six series and 14 of the last 25 games.
To accomplish that task, the Brewers will hand the ball to their de facto ace, right-hander Jimmy Nelson.
Nelson is still working to get over a midseason hiccup; he opened the year 5-3 with a 2.88 ERA in his first 11 starts but has gone 1-5 with a 4.21 ERA over his last nine.
He showed signs of improvement in his first start after the All-Star break, spinning seven scoreless frames in a 9-1 victory at Cincinnati on July 16 but Nelson was his own worst enemy his last time out.
He allowed a leadoff home run to Dexter Fowler and was charged with his third throwing error of the season in a 5-2 loss to the Cubs.
Only two of Nelson’s four runs were earned; they came on four hits and three walks over five innings of work.
"Defensively, he kind of made a couple of mistakes that hurt him," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "But I thought his stuff was good. A leadoff homer to Fowler, but I think you make a couple more plays and you don’t give up two runs."
Nelson had thrown only 80 pitches when he gave way for a pinch-hitter.
"In a different circumstance, he certainly stays in that game and keeps going," Counsell said. "I felt like just all game we had to take shots to score when we could."
It will be his first career appearance against the Diamondbacks, who will send right-hander Archie Bradley to the mound for his 24th start of the season and is on an upswing of late, going 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three starts.
Bradley allowed three runs in his last outing, a 6-2 loss to the Reds last Friday in Cincinnati. All three runs came in the first inning and Bradley scattered two hits and three walks — one intentional — over his final four innings of work.
"I think there’s only one inning out of my last three starts where I went the whole inning out of the windup," Bradley said. "That’s a lot of stress, a lot of high-pressure situations.
"It’s the walks. They say if you’re going to play with fire, you’re eventually going to get burned. Tonight I did. Time after time, I keep putting myself in bad situations."
Bradley has never faced the Brewers in his career.