The Milwaukee Brewers stumbled at home over the weekend following their best stretch at Miller Park this season.
A visit by the slumping Chicago Cubs could help the Brewers return to their winning ways there.
Brewers right-hander Mark Rogers gets another crack at his first major league victory Monday night when the Cubs begin their final series in Milwaukee this season.
The Brewers (54-66), who have struggled on the road with a 19-38 mark, reeled off a season-best eight straight victories at Miller Park before losing back-to-back games to Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday.
“I know it’s hard with a lineup where we had two pretty big guns out of there (Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart had the day off), but I still think we should score some runs,” manager Ron Roenicke said following Sunday’s 8-0 defeat.
Milwaukee has scored 30 runs in its six home games versus Chicago this season, with 28 coming in its four victories. The reigning NL Central champion is 12-3 at home versus the Cubs since the start of 2011.
Rogers (0-1, 4.94 ERA) will try to prevent the Brewers from matching their longest home skid of 2012 as he gets his fifth chance this season to win his first big league game. Milwaukee has dropped all four of the right-hander’s starts since he was called up July 28, but three of those came after blown saves.
Jim Henderson couldn’t close out a 7-6 loss at Colorado on Wednesday after Rogers allowed five runs in six innings.
“We all want him to get (his first win). I want him to get it,” Henderson told the Brewers’ official website. “I want to be the one that closes it up for him, too.”
Rogers has no doubt his relievers, who have a major-league worst 23 blown saves, will be able to nail it down if he can keep Milwaukee in front.
“I have a ton of faith in the guys that are coming in,” said Rogers, who will make his first appearance against Chicago since tossing a scoreless inning in his major league debut, a 4-0 Milwaukee home win Sept. 10, 2010.
The Cubs (47-73) might be losing faith after Sunday’s 5-4 loss at Cincinnati dropped them 26 games below .500. They haven’t been this far under the break-even point since finishing 66-96 in 2006.
Chicago will try to regroup from its 15th loss in 19 games behind Justin Germano (2-2, 3.91). The right-hander went 6 1-3 strong innings Wednesday’s 7-2 victory over Houston to earn his second win since being acquired from Boston on July 19.
Germano will make his third start against Milwaukee, and first since May 26, 2007, while with San Diego.
Ryan Braun, 2 for 4 with a homer off Germano, hit four home runs in the just-completed series against the Phillies to improve his NL-leading total to 33. However, the reigning MVP has no homers in his last 15 games in this divisional matchup.
Bryan LaHair leads the Cubs with three home runs off Brewers pitching this season. The All-Star’s batting average has dropped to .254 after going 1 for 19 in his last 11 games.
Starlin Castro, a lifetime .297 hitter who reportedly has received a seven-year, $60 million contract extension, has hit .244 in 21 games at Miller Park.