The Milwaukee Brewers conclude their quest to finish above .500 with seven games against teams that have no chance at reaching that mark.
After falling short of sweeping the National League’s top team, the Brewers begin a four-game series against the struggling Cincinnati Reds.
Milwaukee had a chance to win three straight from the NL Central champion St. Louis Cardinals, but fell one game below .500 with a 2-0 loss Sunday.
The Brewers are trying to finish with a winning record for the first time since 1992, when they went 92-70 in the American League.
Milwaukee finishes the season against the worst teams in the NL Central. After hosting the fourth-place Reds, the Brewers end the year with three games against last-place Pittsburgh.
Milwaukee was trying to sweep the Cardinals after beating 16-game winner Mark Mulder on Saturday, one day after roughing up 21-game winner Chris Carpenter in a 9-6 win. The Brewers, though, managed only six hits—all singles—as they were shut out for the second time in four games.
Brewers catcher Damian Miller was back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday with a sore right knee, going 1-for-3.
“It wasn’t anything serious,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “He’s had a little trouble with that knee, so we didn’t want to aggravate it.”
Cincinnati lost its home finale, 6-3 to Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Reds have lost four of six following a three-game winning streak.
Rookie Edwin Encarnacion hit his eighth homer of the season in the fifth for the Reds’ first run. Felipe Lopez reached on an error and scored on Rich Aurilia’s groundout in the sixth, and Austin Kearns doubled and scored on a double play in the seventh.