After winning their first division title in 29 years and watching their closer set a single-season team record for saves this weekend, the Milwaukee Brewers are looking to make more history in the series finale.
The Brewers seek a record 55th home win and their first season sweep of the Florida Marlins in 13 years Sunday.
After celebrating the NL Central title Friday - their first division crown since winning the AL East in 1982 - the Brewers (93-65) followed up the 4-1 series-opening victory by rallying from three deficits Saturday for a 6-4 win.
While the Brewers would like to break the tie with the 1978 team that won 54 at County Stadium, their focus is on opening the NL division series at Miller Park.
Milwaukee is one game ahead of West champion Arizona in the race for homefield advantage in that round, and the Diamondbacks hold the tiebreaker by virtue of winning four of seven matchups in 2011.
The Brewers, winners of 12 of 16 at home against Florida (71-87), will look to post their eighth straight victory in the series.
Milwaukee, 6-0 against the Marlins in 2011, last went undefeated versus Florida in 1998 when it won all nine games during its first season in the NL.
Chris Narveson(notes) (10-8, 4.40 ERA) will try to help the Brewers complete the sweep, but the left-hander has lost his last two starts, with a two-inning relief appearance against Philadelphia on Sept. 14 sandwiched between those outings.
“Every time you’re moving a guy in and out of the bullpen, it’s a little tough to maintain the same arm strength,” manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers’ official website after Narveson gave up three runs in four innings of a 5-2 loss at Chicago on Monday. “You build up to a point where you can go deep in ball games. Now you go to the bullpen and you’re not going as deep.”
Still, Narveson would like to have better control after walking three during a 75-pitch performance.
He issued a career high-tying five walks in a 6-5, 11-inning victory at Miami on June 5. Narveson has gone 0-2 with a 5.60 ERA in three career starts versus Florida.
The Marlins will close out their road schedule with Ricky Nolasco(notes) (10-11, 4.46) trying to avoid a career high in losses. The right-hander allowed four seventh-inning runs in each of his last two starts - both against Atlanta - to ruin otherwise strong outings.
“That’s probably the story of his year - pitch good for a while, then make some mistakes and let guys get away from him,” manager Jack McKeon said after Nolasco allowed five runs in a 6-5 win Monday after retiring the first 12 batters he faced.
Nolasco has gone 0-1 with a 9.35 ERA in two career starts at Miller Park.