Vargas tries to lead the Brewers to a fourth straight victory when they continue a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park.
Milwaukee (52-40) is an NL-best 33-14 at home, winning 11 of its last 13 games there, including a 4-3 victory over Arizona (49-45) on Monday.
Corey Hart and Ryan Braun homered while Francisco Cordero earned his major league-leading 29th save in 32 chances for the Brewers, who maintained a 3 1/2-game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Milwaukee is 8-0 in Vargas’ starts at Miller Park this season, with the right-hander going 4-0 with a 4.15 ERA. Vargas (6-2, 4.52 ERA) hasn’t taken the mound since a 5-3 defeat in Pittsburgh on July 4 when he gave up five runs and six hits, including two homers, over six innings.
He’ll try to bounce back against the Diamondbacks, who he spent most of the last two seasons with, going 21-16 in 52 games. Vargas was traded to Milwaukee in the offseason along with catcher Johnny Estrada in a six-player deal that sent left-hander Doug Davis to Arizona.
Vargas has many good friends on the Arizona squad and said it may be initially tough to focus.
“I’ll try not to look (the batters) in the face,” he told the Brewers’ official Web site. “I’ll try to keep focusing on the glove and on the catcher’s sign, because I know if I see their faces, it’s going to be funny.”
Vargas is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four career games versus Arizona.
Arizona remains without injured starter Randy Johnson and Yusmeiro Petit (1-1, 3.12 ERA) will start in his place on Tuesday. Petit was recalled to replace Johnson on July 3 and has pitched well in three appearances this season, but the Diamondbacks have failed to score a run for him in two of those outings.
The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits over five innings on July 8 in a 4-3, 11-inning defeat to Cincinnati. He walked four and struck out a career-high eight.
Petit, who is holding opponents to a .222 batting average, threw one perfect inning of relief versus Milwaukee last season while with Florida. He will try to help the Diamondbacks snap a season-high six-game road losing streak.
They’ve dropped nine of their last 10 away from home and eight of their last 11 games in Milwaukee. Chris Young, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew all homered on Monday, but Arizona was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
“We left the park a few times, but with runners on, we’re still scuffling a little bit,” manager Bob Melvin told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “What’s going to end up winning games like that is getting hits with runners in scoring position.”