Preview: Brewers vs. Nationals
MILWAUKEE --Trea Turner will be back in the Washington Nationals' lineup Wednesday afternoon when they wrap up a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez benched his shortstop Tuesday night after Turner didn't run to first base on a two-out bunt attempt that bounced back into fair territory Monday night in a 6-1 loss.
Martinez said immediately after the game that he planned to discipline Turner and he kept his word Tuesday, with Wilmer Difo getting the start instead.
"We need Trea," Martinez said, "He's a very good player. It kills me more and it probably kills him. You never want to do things like that. It hurts. It hurts me. As he knows, I voted for him 250 times to get on the All-Star team, so I'm a big Trea fan, and he knows that.
"I don't ask these guys to be perfect, but I want them to be present. I know he knows that. I got a lot of respect for him, and he'll be back in there (Wednesday)."
Martinez also left Bryce Harper out of the starting lineup Tuesday. The right-fielder was scratched because of a stomach bug, but he did appear as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.
"I don't know how far he can actually play, but if he can come off the bench and help us that way, that'd be good," Martinez said.
Right-hander Tanner Roark gets the ball for the series finale Wednesday looking to snap a personal five-start losing streak. Roark's last victory was back on June 6 against the Rays and since then, he is 0-6 with a 7.68 ERA.
Pitching at Miller Park could be Roark's best chance to snap out of that rut. He has allowed just one earned run while striking out 17 over 14 innings in his last two starts in Milwaukee.
The Brewers plan to recall right-hander Freddy Peralta from Class-A Wisconsin to start Wednesday's contest. He was sent down just ahead of the All-Star break to keep him on schedule during what has been an impressive rookie season.
In seven starts so far, Peralta is 4-1 with a 2.65 ERA. He has held opponents to a .144 average (18-for-25) while striking out 50 and walking 18 in 37 1/3 innings. Peralta allowed a run with five strikeouts over two innings in his lone appearance for the Timber Rattlers, where he began his time in the Brewers' organization after he was traded from Seattle.
The 22-year-old has come a long way since. A somewhat unheralded prospect at the time, Peralta has climbed the organizational ladder quickly and is now helping the Brewers chase a playoff spot.
"When he was here two years ago, you could tell there was some life to the fastball," Wisconsin manager Matt Erickson said. "His secondary pitches were OK, but his work ethic in between starts and his ability to prepare and get himself ready and keep himself strong and away from injury is really impressive for a young man."
His start Wednesday comes as the Brewers are starting to revert to the form that made them the National League's top team for much of the first half. They have won consecutive games for the first time since July 5-6 and have won three of their last four overall to climb just 1 1/2 games back of the front-running Cubs in the NL Central.
Already assured of a series victory, the Brewers will go for their first sweep since taking three in a row from Minnesota to start off the month.
"We just have to take it one day at a time," said Milwaukee center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who scored the winning run on Tyler Saladino's 10th-inning sacrifice fly in Tuesday's 5-4 win. "We've had a bad stretch, but we have to forget about that. We've won two in a row. So, we need to show up tomorrow and go for the sweep."