The Milwaukee Brewers have played better away from home lately, yet still own one of the worst road records in the NL. A visit to AT&T Park to wrap up the their longest road trip of the year may not be as daunting as originally thought.
The Brewers look to extend their recent success by the Bay on Friday night against the San Francisco Giants in the first of three games between two of the NL’s top clubs.
Milwaukee fell to 4-4 on its 11-game trek with a 4-0 loss to Arizona on Thursday. Zack Greinke(notes) yielded fourth-inning solo homers to Justin Upton(notes) and Miguel Montero(notes), and LaTroy Hawkins(notes) gave up a two-run shot in the eighth.
“You get disappointed when you think you are playing pretty good and you come out and get shut out,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “I am glad we won some games on the trip but when you think about this game, it’s hard to be happy about what happened the last few days.”
Milwaukee (53-47) is in a virtual tie with Pittsburgh atop the Central division despite a 20-33 road record, but could be in position to improve that mark. The Brewers are 6-3 in San Francisco since the 2008 season, and took two of three from the Giants in May at Miller Park.
Marcum was charged with five runs and six hits in six innings of a 5-4 defeat on May 27. Since then, he’s 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA in nine starts.
Marcum overcame a strained neck to pick up his first win in nearly five weeks, 4-3 at Colorado on Sunday. He yielded two runs and four hits in five-plus innings.
Marcum, who played for Toronto from 2005-10, has not fared well against a pair of former AL foes now with the Giants. Miguel Tejada(notes) is hitting .417 (10 for 24) with three homers and eight RBIs against the right-hander, while Aubrey Huff(notes) is batting .429 (6 for 14) with a homer and three RBIs.
San Francisco will go with Matt Cain(notes) (8-5, 2.99), who lost to Milwaukee two months ago. On May 29, the right-hander yielded a season-high 11 hits and five runs in six innings of the 6-0 defeat.
Cain is 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers, but 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA when facing them in San Francisco.
In his first game following the All-Star break, Cain failed to register a decision in a 4-3, 11-inning win over San Diego on Sunday. He gave up three runs, three hits and fanned nine in six innings.
Though Milwaukee leads the NL with 112 homers, no current Brewer has hit one against Cain.
San Francisco (57-42) failed to complete a three-game sweep of the arch-rival Los Angeles Dodgers with 1-0 loss Wednesday.
Tim Lincecum(notes) allowed a homer to Dioner Navarro(notes) among five hits over seven innings, and Chris Stewart(notes) had two of a season low-tying three hits for the Giants, whose 30 home wins tie them with Atlanta for third-most in NL behind Philadelphia (34) and Milwaukee (33).