The Milwaukee Brewers have been very productive at the plate lately, and they’ve finally translated that into victories for a change.
They’ll try to carry some of that momentum into a three-game series against the woeful Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
The Brewers (61-63) have dropped eight of 15 despite hitting .300 with 22 homers while outscoring opponents 93-85. Their rotation, however, failed to deliver in that stretch, compiling a 5.78 ERA.
Milwaukee turned some of that offensive production into winning three of four, capped by Monday’s 7-1 win at Washington.
“Everybody contributed,” said left fielder Ryan Braun, who connected for a two-run homer Monday. “It’s kind of how we’ve been offensively of late.”
Felipe Lopez(notes) has been a major part of the Brewers’ recent offensive surge, hitting .336 with one homer and 18 RBIs in 33 games since being acquired in a three-player deal from Arizona on July 19. The second baseman, who is batting leadoff for Milwaukee, had a .301 average with six homers and 25 RBIs in 85 games with the Diamondbacks.
“I didn’t really know him that well as a player (before he came over), and he’s pretty much been a hitting machine,” manager Ken Macha told the Brewers’ official Web site. “He has a nice on-plane swing and uses the whole field.”
Lopez played for Cincinnati (52-71) from 2003-06, and has a .432 average with two homers and seven RBIs in his last 11 games against his former club.
The Brewers are expected to activate Jeff Suppan(notes) (5-8, 5.27) from the disabled list prior to his start and give him the ball for the first time since a strained left oblique sidelined him for nearly a month.
The veteran right-hander hasn’t won since a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on June 12, going 0-4 with a 6.55 ERA in his last eight outings. He was roughed up in his last start before landing on the DL, surrendering 10 runs and 10 hits while walking four and hitting another batter in 5 1-3 innings of a 14-6 loss to Washington on July 27.
Suppan is 0-2 with a 6.08 ERA in his last three starts against the Reds, all losses for Milwaukee.
The Brewers are 7-5 against Cincinnati, winning the last four meetings at Miller Park while outscoring its NL Central rival 26-12 behind nine homers.
The Reds are coming off Sunday’s 4-1 win at Pittsburgh to avoid getting swept in that three-game set. Despite that victory, Cincinnati is tied with Kansas City for the worst record in baseball since the All-Star break at 10-26 .
Arroyo is 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA in his last five starts at Milwaukee.