Greg Maddux will try to bounce back from an ugly outing and win his fourth straight home start for the San Diego Padres when they open a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
Maddux (3-3, 4.14 ERA) is hoping a return to NL action will help him recover. He was tagged for seven runs and 12 hits over 3 2-3 innings in a 7-4 loss at Seattle on Sunday.
“They came ready to hit and were aggressive early,” Maddux said. “I never really got in the groove of the game, never really got a chance to settle down.”
The four-time NL Cy Young Award winner dropped his Padres debut on April 6 at home to Colorado, but has bounced back to win his next three starts at Petco Park by posting a 1.23 ERA, striking out 14 and walking only one batter in that span.
Maddux is 13-6 with a 2.66 ERA in 24 career starts against the Brewers (28-19), but 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in his last three outings against them.
Milwaukee left fielder Geoff Jenkins is hitting .449 (22-for-49) in his career against Maddux.
Brian Giles missed his fourth straight game with a bone bruise in his right knee and the Padres expect to make a decision Friday whether he will return or need a stint on the disabled list.
“We’re hoping four days off will help,” manager Bud Black said.
Milwaukee lost two of three games against the Dodgers to start a six-game road trip and have dropped eight of 11 overall. Despite the slump, the Brewers still own a six-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central.
The Brewers are searching for offense after managing only 36 runs over their last 11 games. They will likely give third baseman Ryan Braun his first career start after recalling him from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday.
“We’re sitting nine games above .500 right now,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told the team’s official Web site. “We think Ryan Braun is going to be a good big-league hitter, we’ve got a lot of confidence, but the thing is that no one player can carry a team for a whole season.”
A first-round draft pick out of Miami in 2005, Braun batted .342 with 10 homers and 22 RBIs in 34 games this season with Nashville.
Brewers starter Dave Bush (3-4, 5.56) is 0-1 with a 7.47 ERA in his last three road outings, failing to get out of the sixth inning each time. He also pitched poorly his last time out, giving up five runs and eight hits over 7 1-3 innings on Saturday in a 5-2 loss to Minnesota.
The right-hander beat the Padres in his lone appearance against them by pitching a three-hitter in a 5-1 victory on June 6 at Miller Park.
Milwaukee went 4-3 against San Diego last season.
This will be a special series for Brewers rookie outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr., who is hitting .356 in 34 games this season. It’ll be his first game in San Diego, where father Tony Gwynn starred for the Padres during a Hall of Fame career.