Brewers-Braves Preview

Success at the plate has paced the Atlanta Braves in their last

two games.

The opposite has plagued the Milwaukee Brewers of late.

The Braves look for a third straight victory Tuesday night at

Turner Field, while the Brewers try to avoid their fourth

consecutive defeat.

Atlanta (15-15) has scored six runs in each of its last two

games, including a 6-2 victory over Milwaukee on Monday to open

this series. The Braves have won seven of 10, averaging 6.4 runs in

the wins compared to 2.7 in the losses.

The Braves can move above .500 for the first time since they

were 3-2 on April 5.

“We’ve been playing good baseball,” infielder Brooks Conrad told

the team’s official website. “We start a new month, and hopefully

we start swinging the bats and scoring some more runs.”

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez had three RBIs and was one of four

Braves with two hits Monday. The six runs were only two fewer than

Atlanta totaled while dropping three of four at Milwaukee last


Gonzalez is batting .321 with eight RBIs over his last seven


Chipper Jones, who also had a pair of hits Monday, is batting

.405 in his last 13 games versus Milwaukee.

Tommy Hanson (3-3, 2.57 ERA) looks to win his third straight

start when he takes the mound for the Braves. The right-hander has

allowed one run in his last two outings, including a 7-0 victory at

San Diego on Wednesday in which he limited the Padres to four hits

in seven innings, striking out 10.

“The last two times out, Tommy has thrown extremely well,” Jones

said. “That’s the kind of Tommy Hanson we need for 35 starts.”

One of Hanson’s losses came at Milwaukee on April 7, when he

allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 4-2 defeat. He is 1-3 with

a 4.02 ERA in five career starts against the Brewers.

Milwaukee (13-15) has managed just three runs during its

three-game skid. Yuniesky Betancourt went 2 for 3 with both RBIs on

Monday for the Brewers, who fell to 5-10 on the road.

The heart of Milwaukee’s lineup is struggling, with Prince

Fielder 2 for 12 in his last three games and Ryan Braun is 1 for 7

in his last two.

Braun may have a good chance to bounce back Tuesday, as he is 6

for 15 with four homers off Hanson. The Brewers could also get an

offensive boost from center fielder Nyjer Morgan, who was activated

from the disabled list and is batting second in Tuesday’s


Morgan, who has been out with a bruised right quadriceps, is

hitting .455.

With Zack Greinke soon to return from the disabled list, Marco

Estrada (1-0, 3.00) could be making his last start for the Brewers

on Tuesday.

However, Estrada is making a case to stay to with the big club.

The right-hander hasn’t gotten a decision in either of his last two

starts but has pitched well, allowing three runs in 13 innings.

Estrada gave up a two-run homer but only one other hit in seven

innings of Milwaukee’s 3-2 victory over Cincinnati last


“Obviously, I want to show I belong here,” Estrada told the

Brewers’ official website. “I’m putting it all out there, and

hopefully I’m doing enough to stay around. I like it here.”

Estrada’s first career victory came against the Braves on April

6, when he allowed four runs in six innings. The Brewers won