Diamondbacks-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers have taken advantage of some struggling

teams as they inch closer to .500. With the Arizona Diamondbacks

headed to Miller Park for four games, that trend seems likely to

continue.

The Brewers have a good chance to stay hot Monday night as they

seek an eighth consecutive victory over the Diamondbacks.

Milwaukee (53-59) won five straight July 22-26, notching four

victories over last-place teams Washington and Pittsburgh, before

enduring a five-game skid. The Brewers have bounced back to score

47 runs in winning five of six, posting a three-game sweep of

Houston with Sunday’s 11-6 win.

“I’ve been saying that we are very consistent: extremely

inconsistent,” manager Ken Macha told the Brewers’ official

website.

Macha’s club has been quite consistent recently against the

Diamondbacks (43-69), however. Milwaukee has outscored Arizona

50-17 in winning the past seven meetings, led by Casey McGehee’s

three homers and 12 RBIs in six of those.

McGehee has been on quite a tear over his last six games as

well. The third baseman has 11 RBIs after a three-run homer and an

RBI double Sunday.

Monday’s series opener features the same pitching matchup as

when the clubs last met May 9 in Phoenix.

Chris Narveson (9-7, 5.68 ERA) tries to join teammate Yovani

Gallardo as the second Brewer to reach double-digit wins. The

left-hander gave up a run and six hits over 5 2-3 innings in a 4-3

win over the Cubs on Tuesday.

He also went 1 for 3 with an RBI, increasing his average to .313

(10 for 32).

“Helping yourself out at the plate has always been a big

competition with the pitchers here,” Narveson said of a staff that

counts Gallardo and Randy Wolf as quality hitters. “That was

huge.”

Narveson is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in three games – two starts –

against the Diamondbacks. His hit May 9 off Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.40)

drove in the eventual winning run in a 6-1 victory.

Kennedy pitched well in the loss, surrendering two runs over

seven innings in his lone career start against Milwaukee.

This time, he’ll look to recover after his shortest outing of

the season. The right-hander’s innings are being limited in the

second half, but manager Kirk Gibson didn’t have a choice Wednesday

after watching Kennedy give up four runs and eight hits over four

innings in a 7-2 loss to Washington.

“I thought he was up, struggled with his location,” Gibson told

the Diamondbacks’ official website. “… He’s really grinding. He’s

probably mad at me. I know how it is, I understand.”

Arizona won its next three games after Kennedy’s rough outing

but couldn’t make it four straight Sunday. After consecutive

one-run wins over first-place San Diego, the Diamondbacks lost 10-1

to finish their homestand 4-3.

“We played well this homestand,” said center fielder Chris

Young, the only Diamondback to homer off Narveson. “Lately we’ve

been turning things around, playing hard, playing the game the

right way, playing small ball, getting big hits when we need them.

It’s been nice.”