In the midst of a crucial nine-game road swing, the Milwaukee Brewers' first stop didn't exactly go as planned.
The slumping Brewers try to get back on track in Friday night's series opener against the San Francisco Giants, who are on the verge of their longest winning streak in nearly three months.
NL Central-leading Milwaukee (73-60) has dropped five of seven after suffering back-to-back losses to San Diego. The Brewers took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday but Francisco Rodriguez blew the save in a 3-2, 10-inning defeat.
"That's a tough one, I'm not going to lie," Rodriguez told MLB's official website. "I'm probably not going to be able to close my eyes tonight just thinking about it. But we still have a tough series coming up. We have to be sure to be ready Friday."
Milwaukee is 1 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis and four in front of Pittsburgh for the division lead.
"We're in the driver's seat right now," Wednesday's starter Yovani Gallardo said. "If we go out there and take care of the things we have to do, everything else is going to fall into place."
While San Francisco (71-62) is 4 1/2 games behind Los Angeles in the West, it occupies the league's second wild-card spot. The Giants are seeking a fourth consecutive victory for the first time since a five-game run June 4-8.
Gregor Blanco hit a two-run homer in Thursday's 4-1 victory over Colorado and Yusmeiro Petit set a major league record by retiring his 46th consecutive batter - a streak that covered eight games.
San Francisco will try to keep building against Wily Peralta (15-8, 3.56 ERA), who had posted a 1.59 ERA in winning six of seven starts before getting hit hard in Saturday's 10-2 loss to Pittsburgh. The right-hander was tagged for eight runs - seven earned - and served up a career-worst three homers over five innings.
Peralta is one win behind Clayton Kershaw for the most in the baseball. He has won his last two starts against the Giants behind a 0.69 ERA after giving up one unearned run and striking out a career-high nine over 6 2-3 innings in a 3-1 victory Aug. 7.
San Francisco's Ryan Vogelsong (7-9, 3.78) gave up three runs and a season high-tying four walks over 5 1-3 innings in Sunday's 14-6 loss at Washington. Despite that showing, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA in five starts this month.
However, Vogelsong has gone 0-5 with a 4.15 ERA over a seven-start stretch at AT&T Park while receiving a combined four runs of support, including none in his last five. His last home win came 2-1 against Minnesota back on May 24.
Vogelsong threw six innings of one-run ball to win 7-4 at Milwaukee on Aug. 6, improving to 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last three starts in the series. Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun are a combined 0 for 10 in their matchups since 2012.
Milwaukee took two of three from San Francisco earlier this month, improving to 8-3 in the series dating to May 2012.
"We played a good series against them," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We know we're always going to have a tough time ... but if we play our type of game, we feel like we can win."
San Francisco's Buster Posey is batting .429 with five homers and 10 RBIs over his last eight games. However, he's 6 for 27 with one RBI in eight games against Milwaukee since the start of last year.
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