Brewers-Nationals preview

WASHINGTON — Milwaukee right-handed pitcher Zach Davies began his minor league career in the Baltimore Orioles farm system, making his minor league debut in 2012 with Single-A Delmarva in Salisbury, Maryland.

The next year, he pitched for nearby Class A Frederick in the Carolina League and in 2014 he was in the Eastern League with Double-A Bowie, less than 20 miles from Nationals Park in Washington.

Davies will make his first start in Washington on Tuesday in the second game of the series against the Nationals. A former 26th-round pick by the Orioles, Davies went to high school in Arizona.

A Washington state native, Davies was traded by the Orioles to the Brewers last year at the trade deadline for outfielder Gerardo Parra. He made his big league debut last year with six starts with the Brewers.

Davies comes into the game with a record of 5-4 and an ERA of 4.22. He is coming off a start where he went 4 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Davies has only one prior start against the Nationals, where he earned a no-decision on June 24. In that start, he went five innings and allowed three earned runs on seven hits. The Brewers are 7-7 in games that Davies has started.

It will be hard for Davies to top the outing on Monday by Junior Guerra, who went 7 1/3 innings and allowed no runs and two hits in a 1-0 win over the Nationals.

“It feels like he keeps getting better,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “In the big spots, he seems to step up even more. He really competing out there. It's been fun to watch. Junior carried the load out there big time.”

Guerra ran his scoreless innings streak to 15 1/3 innings and he has not allowed a run since June 22 against the Oakland A's. He is now 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA for the Brewers after he made his major league debut last season in three games with the Chicago White Sox.

On the mound for the Nationals on Monday will be Gio Gonzalez, who is coming off his first win in seven starts. The native of suburban Miami will come into the game with a record of 4-7 and an ERA of 4.81.

His last start against Milwaukee came in a 5-6 loss on June 25, when he went three innings and allowed six runs, all earned, on six hits. Gonzalez is 2-2 in six starts all time against the Brewers. The Nationals are 6-10 this season when the veteran lefty takes the mound.

Gonzalez has a spot in the rotation for now after right-hander Joe Ross went on the disabled list Sunday. That means rookie Lucas Giolito, who made his big league debut Tuesday, will stay in the rotation along with Stephen Strasburg, Tanner Roark and Max Scherzer.

The Nationals have six games left before the All-Star break.

“We would like to finish strong,” manager Dusty Baker said Monday. “When it comes to winning and victories, I am a greedy man.”