As they continue to gain ground in the NL wild-card race, the Milwaukee Brewers look for their first sweep since the All-Star break when they wrap up their three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park on Thursday.
The Brewers (61-65) defeated the Rockies 7-1 on Wednesday, and have won six of their last eight games to move within 4 1/2 games of the Cincinnati Reds for the wild card.
“We’re in it,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “But the key to everything is that we have to win ballgames. That’s first and foremost. We can look at the scoreboard all we want right now, but if we don’t take care of business every night on that field, it doesn’t matter.
“If we keep taking care of our business like we’ve done here the last couple of nights, we’ll be in good shape.”
Graffanino, who was acquired from Kansas City on July 25, has reached base safely in 23 of his 25 games with the Brewers, batting .333 (31-for-93) with 11 doubles and 10 RBIs.
The Brewers have not swept an opponent since a three-game series against the Reds July 3-5.
Tomo Ohka (3-3, 4.01 ERA) pitches for Milwaukee on Thursday, seeking his first win in more than a month.
Ohka went 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA in his first three starts after missing 2 1/2 months with a partial right rotator cuff tear, but has gone 0-2 with a 6.55 ERA in his four August outings. He has not earned a win since July 23, when he gave up one run and three hits in eight innings of a 4-1 victory over Cincinnati.
The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win over Houston on Friday, but did not factor in the decision.
Ohka is still looking for his first career win against Colorado (59-67), as he has gone 0-2 with a 4.32 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies. He gave up six runs and eight hits in four innings in his only game against Colorado this season, an 8-2 loss on Aug. 2.
The Rockies have dropped five straight games—scoring just nine total runs in those contests—and seven of their last eight. Colorado, which was three games out of the wild-card lead on Aug. 14, now trails Cincinnati by 6 1/2 games.
“We’ve dug ourselves a hole,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “There comes a point in time, we’ve got to come together as a club and say, `enough’s enough.’
“The reality of it is right now, it just doesn’t smell right right now. We get down, we’re not throwing punches back. We’ve got to find a way to rekindle the flame, go out there and play with more passion, more energy and have some fun while we’re doing it.”
Matt Holiday’s season-high 11-game hitting streak ended on Thursday, but he is still batting .405 (17-for-42) with three homers in his last 12 games.
Josh Fogg (9-7, 4.62) looks to win his third straight start when he takes the mound for Colorado on Thursday. The right-hander allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings of an 8-4 win over Arizona last Thursday, after giving up four runs and 10 hits in six innings of another 8-4 victory, over the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 12.
Fogg is 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 career starts against the Brewers, but he lost his only meeting against them this season, a 1-0 defeat on Aug. 1.