Power at the plate from various and somewhat unlikely sources is
keying the Milwaukee Brewers’ surge.
Continuing that production against Anibal Sanchez may prove to
be much more difficult.
The Brewers look for their longest road winning streak of the
season when they attempt to sweep a road series from the Florida
Marlins for the first time in 12 years Sunday.
Milwaukee (32-26) ranks second in the NL with 65 homers, one
back of Arizona.
The Brewers’ impressive power has been on display during an 18-6
stretch, as 12 players have totaled 33 homers with Prince Fielder
leading the way with six, while Ryan Braun and Corey Hart have five
Fielder tied Braun for the team lead with his 13th homer
Saturday before Nyjer Morgan connected for his first in two seasons
in a 3-2 win over the Marlins (31-25). That came a night after
Fielder had a two-run shot in the first before Braun belted one of
his own in the ninth for a 6-5 win in the series opener.
Milwaukee hasn’t swept a series at Florida since May 1999, and
matching that feat Sunday would give the Brewers their longest road
winning streak of 2011. They’re 11-19 away from home.
“The players know that we’re playing well now, and I know that
we’re playing well now,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “I know you
guys still want to ask us about the road but I think that’s
probably more you guys than it is us.”
Sanchez (5-1, 2.57 ERA) is likely to offer the Brewers a stiff
The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 57
1-3 innings over five starts. He was superb Tuesday, yielding two
runs with eight strikeouts in eight innings while helping himself
with a two-run single in a 5-2 win at Arizona.
“He’s mixing his pitches, going after the hitters,” manager
Edwin Rodriguez told the team’s official website. “He’s been very
efficient. If you can get ahead in the count quick, you can get the
hitter out quick, even with all the strikeouts.”
Sanchez is 2-1 with a 3.95 ERA in five starts against the
Brewers, holding Fielder to 1 for 14 while Hart is the only member
of the current roster with a homer off him.
The Marlins are trying to avoid a season-high four-game slide.
They’re hitting .229 over the last six games, and .130 with runners
in scoring position after going 1 for 10 Saturday.
“We’re not executing,” Rodriguez said. “Just put the ball in
play – they have to be able to do that.”
Chris Narveson (2-4, 4.68) takes the mound for the Brewers
looking to avoid the big inning again. The left-hander struggled
for the second consecutive start, allowing five runs – four in the
fourth – before he was lifted in a 7-3 loss at Cincinnati on
Monday. Six days earlier, Narveson surrendered four of six runs in
the third before exiting with one out in the following inning of a
7-6 win over Washington.
“I like his stuff. When he’s on, he’ll go through 4-5 innings
with all zeroes,” Roenicke told the team’s official website. “We
just have to stay away from that one big inning that he seems to
have. I don’t know what it is, what happens to him when we get
people on base and he has those big innings. He’s going to have to
figure out how to make some pitches when he needs to.”
Narveson is 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in two starts against