Diamondbacks-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers are slumping and might not have star Ryan

Braun available to help them get out of it.

Nursing a strained calf, Braun could miss a third straight game

as the Brewers try to regroup from their latest defeat Tuesday

night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Braun, the NL top vote-getter for next week’s All-Star game, was

hurt Saturday when Milwaukee (45-41) rallied for an 8-7 win at

Minnesota. He then watched as the Brewers blew a five-run lead in a

9-7 loss Sunday and the same cushion in Monday’s 8-6 home defeat to

Arizona.

Batting .320 with 16 homers, 62 RBIs and carrying a career-best

22-game hitting streak, Braun is not sure if he will be back

Tuesday.

“Obviously I want to play, but at the same time I have to listen

to what everyone else says,” Braun told the Brewers’ official

website. “It’s the type of thing that you could easily re-aggravate

or make far worse, and I don’t want that to happen and have to miss

a couple months.”

One game behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central,

Milwaukee likely can’t afford that after losing six of seven.

“Anytime you lose games that you think you should win, it does a

little something to you. If it happens a lot of times, it ends up

mentally bothering you,” said manager Ron Roenicke, whose Brewers

are 29-12 at Miller Park and have not lost consecutive games

there.

The Brewers might have a good chance to bounce back against

Arizona’s Zach Duke (1-3, 5.92 ERA), who is 0-6 with an 8.13 ERA in

11 starts at Miller Park.

The left-hander allowed four runs in five innings of a 6-2 loss

to Cleveland on Wednesday to fall to 0-3 with a 7.26 ERA in six

starts since winning his 2011 debut at Houston on May 28.

“You want to see better results and for him you worry about his

confidence,” manager Kirk Gibson said.

Duke would not mind seeing Braun out of the lineup, considering

the slugger is a .368 hitter with two homers against him. Teammate

Prince Fielder is batting .333 with three home runs and two doubles

off Duke.

Fielder had two hits Monday but has homered just twice in his

last 20 games.

Miguel Montero and Wily Mo Pena each homered for the

Diamondbacks (46-40), who scored every inning from the fourth on to

win for the third time in nine games.

“It was a really nice comeback, we needed it to get your

momentum going, get your confidence back,” said Montero, who had

three hits with two RBIs. “We picked each other up and had a couple

of opportunities and we failed, but we just came back and kept

pushing.”

Back in the majors for the first time since 2008, Pena has five

home runs and seven RBIs in 13 games.

Montero is 3 for 5 against scheduled Milwaukee starter Randy

Wolf (6-5, 3.33), who is 4-0 with a 4.19 ERA in his last six starts

versus Arizona.

The left-hander was 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA over his previous four

starts before allowing four runs in seven innings of a 5-0 loss at

Yankee Stadium on Thursday.