Brewers' pitching rebound sets stage for possible sweep

Field Level Media

Last weekend, the Milwaukee Brewers allowed 32 runs in a rough visit to Washington. This weekend things are going significantly better for Milwaukee's pitching staff.

The Brewers seek a fourth straight win and a series sweep Sunday afternoon when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks in the finale of a three-game set.

Milwaukee (67-62) enters Sunday two games back of the Chicago Cubs for the National League's second wild-card spot and is attempting to win at least four straight games for the second time this month. From Aug. 5-10, the Brewers won five straight contests but followed it up with six losses in eight games.

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One of those losses was a 16-8 defeat when the Brewers allowed eight homers last Sunday. Two more losses in St. Louis followed but during their last three wins, the Brewers have pitched to a 0.35 earned run average while holding opponents to 12 hits.

Milwaukee maintained its effective pitching Saturday in a 4-0 victory when Chase Anderson and four relievers combined on a four-hitter. After allowing 10 runs Sunday in Washington, Anderson pitched the first five innings before Milwaukee used Junior Guerra, Matt Albers, Alex Claudio and Jay Jackson to finish off the game.

"I hope that never happens again in my career but to come back out here today, not allow any runs and give the team a chance to win is a nice little bounce-back for me and winning the series is great for the team," Anderson said.

Arizona enters Sunday with seven losses in its last 10 games and a 5 1/2-game deficit behind the Cubs in the wild-card race. The Diamondbacks were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position Saturday and are 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position during their last three games.

"It seems like the guys are trying to do too much," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "They have that forcing mentality and in sports, that's not very good. It doesn't lead to good things. I see it."

Ketel Marte doubled and reached base for the 18th straight game while Christian Walker had two hits. Eduardo Escobar continued to slump and is hitting .175 (17-for-97) in his last 24 games.

After Jordan Lyles and Anderson produced effective outings, Milwaukee will start Zach Davies (8-6, 3.74 ERA), who will be making his second start since returning from back spasms. Davies last pitched Monday in St. Louis when he allowed two runs on three hits in five innings and is 0-4 with a 9.50 ERA in his last four starts.

Davies is 3-1 with a 3.33 ERA in four career starts against the Diamondbacks and allowed one run in seven innings in Milwaukee's 5-1 win in Arizona on July 18.

Robbie Ray (10-7, 3.99) is expected to be activated off the injured list after missing a little over a week due to lower back spasms. He last pitched on Aug. 14 in Colorado when he was removed after two innings.

Ray is 4-1 with a 4.10 ERA in his last seven starts since the All-Star break and has 50 of his 187 strikeouts in that span.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three career starts against Milwaukee.

--Field Level Media

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