Proving that he is again one of baseball’s top starters, Brown has been nearly unhittable in recent outings. He’ll look to continue that trend when the red-hot Dodgers try to complete a three-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Brown has given up one run in each of his last five starts, a span of 35 innings. On Tuesday, he had one of his best outings of the season, allowing three hits through seven innings in a 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.
Limited to 37 games over the previous two seasons due to injury, Brown said he is relieved to be pitching in perfect health again.
“It was a long hill to climb,” the 38-year-old right-hander said. “It’s nice to feel healthy—every time I say that, I look for a piece of wood to knock on. You don’t know, there are no guarantees in this game. Something freakish can rear its head.”
Brown has the unenviable task of trying to follow up a brilliant effort by Hideo Nomo. On Saturday, Nomo limited the Brewers tossed a two-hitter in a 6-0 victory, extending the Dodgers’ season-best winning streak to nine games.
Nomo, who has pitched a pair of no-hitters in his career, held the Brewers hitless until John Vander Wal’s looping liner to left with one out in the seventh.
The Brewers, who had won five of six before losing two straight to Los Angeles, have lost their last seven games against the Dodgers and have not beaten them since an 8-6 win on May 21, 2002 at Miller Park.
STANDINGS: Dodgers - 2nd place, 1 1/2 GB, NL West. Brewers - 6th place, 9 1/2 GB, NL Central.
DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Brown (5-1, 2.38 ERA). In 23 career games against the Brewers, Brown is 12-5 with a 3.11 ERA.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ben Sheets (4-3, 4.58 ERA). Sheets has not earned a decision in either of his last two starts. On Tuesday, he gave up six runs and eight hits through six innings in the Brewers’ 8-7 win over the San Diego Padres. The 24-year-old right-hander is 0-2 with a 3.10 in three career games against the Dodgers.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .315 avg.; McGriff, 7 HRs; McGriff and Shawn Green, 26 RBIs; Green, 25 runs; Dave Roberts, 18 SBs. Brewers - Alex Sanchez, .282 avg.; Richie Sexson, 15 HRs and 38 runs; Sexson and Geoff Jenkins, 34 RBIs; Eric Young, 13 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 2-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - LF Brian Jordan is 5-for-9 (.556) in his career against RHP Sheets. … In the last 10 games, Dodgers starter are 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA. … C Lo Duca is batting .500 (14-for-28) in his last eight games. Brewers - SS Royce Clayton is batting .133 (2-for-15) in his career against Brown. … The Brewers are 5-7 through 12 games of their season-long 13-game homestand. … 2B Young has stolen 10 straight bases without being caught.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 13-11 on the road; Brewers - 10-18 at home.
INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; OF Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Brewers - OF Jeffrey Hammonds (ankle), 15-day DL; LHP Valerio De Los Santos (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Jayson Durocher (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.