Coming off a successful series against the team at the bottom of the NL West, the Milwaukee Brewers hope for another against one sharing the top spot in the division.
After having their lengthy winning streak snapped, the wild-card leading Brewers look to bounce back and snap the Los Angeles Dodgers’ six-game home winning streak on Friday night in the opener of a three-game set.
Milwaukee (70-52) lost 3-2 at San Diego on Thursday, ending its second eight-game winning streak in a month’s span.
“It was a day where you had to find ways to get it done,” center fielder Mike Cameron told the Brewers’ official Web site after homering and driving in both runs Thursday. “We thought we were going to be all right.”
As a result, the Brewers sit 4 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the NL Central and lead the wild-card race by three over St. Louis.
After going 10-3 during a stretch against sub-.500 teams since being swept in a four-game home series by the Cubs, Milwaukee plays Los Angeles (62-59), which won 3-1 on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies and remain tied with Arizona atop the West standings.
While the Brewers are 34-29 on the road and 13-3 away from home since the All-Star break, they have lost seven of their last eight contests at Dodger Stadium and dropped two of three to Los Angeles at Miller Park from May 13-15.
Though it likely won’t be Friday, the Brewers are hoping to have All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun back in the lineup this weekend. Braun, a Southern California native who’s hitting .300 with 30 homers and 84 RBIs, has missed five straight games with tightness in his lower back but hopes to take batting practice Friday.
“It’s definitely getting there,” Braun said. “I’m getting anxious, man.”
Though he pitched well in his last outing, Manny Parra (9-5, 4.02 ERA) looks to avoid his fourth straight losing decision after allowing a run and six hits in seven innings of a 5-4, 13-inning victory over Washington on Sunday.
The left-hander, 0-3 with a 5.55 ERA in his last four starts, gave up one earned run in 6 2-3 innings but didn’t factor in a 6-4 loss to Los Angeles on May 14 in his only previous start versus the Dodgers.
Blake is batting .278 with 10 RBIs in 19 games since being traded to Los Angeles from Cleveland. Jeff Kent, meanwhile, went 1-for-4 and is 14-for-30 with eight RBIs in eight games since moving to the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
“Sometimes things go your way for unexplained reasons,” Kent said of his surge.
After not factoring in his last two decisions, Chad Billingsley (11-9, 3.07) tries again for a third straight winning decision. He allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings of a 5-4 loss at San Francisco on Sunday.
The right-hander yielded a run and three hits in seven innings to win 7-2 at Milwaukee on May 15 in his only previous start versus the Brewers.