The playoff-bound Milwaukee Brewers are one victory away from forging a tie for the most home wins in franchise history.
Greinke looks to finish his first NL season unbeaten at home when the Central champion Brewers meet the Florida Marlins on Saturday night.
Milwaukee (92-65) clinched its first division title since winning the AL East in 1982, with Friday’s 4-1 win over the Marlins combined with St. Louis’ loss to the Chicago Cubs. Ryan Braun(notes) ended a 1-for-16 slump with a three-run go-ahead homer in the eighth inning.
“I think for me honestly, I live for that moment,” said Braun, whose .329 batting average is tied with the New York Mets’ Jose Reyes(notes) for the league lead. “You play the game to have the opportunity to play meaningful games down the stretch in September. I truly expected to come through in that situation.”
Milwaukee has a major league-leading 53 home wins, its most since 1978, when it won 54 games at County Stadium.
With a playoff berth locked down, the Brewers may give some of their regulars a night off. Given how well Greinke (15-6, 3.75 ERA) has fared in Milwaukee, it may not matter who first-year manager Ron Roenicke pencils into the lineup.
Greinke has already set a franchise record in his first NL season with a 10-0 record in 13 starts at home - all Milwaukee wins.
The right-hander alternated wins and losses in his final six starts outside Wisconsin. He gave up one run and two hits with a season high-tying 10 strikeouts in seven innings of Sunday’s 8-1 victory at Cincinnati.
Greinke’s 191 strikeouts rank second on the team behind Yovani Gallardo(notes) (207), but leads the majors with an average of 10.7 per nine innings. He’s nine shy of his second 200-strikeout season and first since winning the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with Kansas City.
Greinke is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three career starts against Florida. He allowed two runs and fanned seven over six innings of a 7-2 victory June 6 in Miami.
Brewers closer John Axford(notes) needs one save to break Francisco Cordero’s(notes) franchise mark of 44, set in 2007. Axford has converted 41 consecutive saves including all four opportunities versus the Marlins this year.
Emilio Bonifacio(notes) had three hits and Buck Petersen added two and drove in the lone run in the series opener for Florida (71-86), which has dropped six straight to the Brewers. Bonifacio’s 33 hits this month are tied for fourth in the majors.
Facing major league-leading Philadelphia in the back end of a Sept. 15 doubleheader, the right-hander gave up one run over six innings but didn’t receive a decision as Florida was swept with a 2-1 loss in 10 innings.
“Having success against a team like that helps your confidence,” said Sanabia, who has never faced Milwaukee.
Sanabia is 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in 10 career games - seven starts - on the road.