Brewers rookie hopes hot streak continues against D-backs

Field Level Media

The Milwaukee Brewers won the opener of a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night, and rookie second baseman Keston Hiura was in the thick of the action.

The 22-year-old has hit well since his mid-May call-up, but he's been especially hot after the All-Star break. He went 1-for-4, with a single, stolen base and run scored in the Brewers' key three-run eighth inning Thursday night.

Milwaukee won 5-1 and will try for a four-game winning streak when the teams meet Friday night in Phoenix.

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Hiura went 8-for-11 with a home run, triple and three doubles as Milwaukee took two of three games against visiting Atlanta in the preceding series. Overall, he is 15-for-27, with eight extra base hits in seven games in the second half, raising his average from .257 to .320.

"It's always good to be able to feel the ball go off the barrel and to find those holes or whatnot," Hiura said on MLB.com.

"Especially at the start of the second half after the All-Star break, I kind of wanted to really make a statement for myself, just to prove to myself that, 'You know what you're doing,' and not press too much or anything like that."

Hiura takes an eight-game hitting streak into Friday night's game against Arizona right-hander Taylor Clarke (2-3, 6.21 ERA), who will make his first start since July 2. Clarke has been on the injured list since July 3, a day after giving up three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings in a 5-4 loss at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 26-year-old rookie threw six scoreless innings in a rehab start at Class A Visalia on Saturday.

Milwaukee will start righty Jhoulys Chacin (3-9, 5.18). He is 0-6 in his past 10 starts, although the past three starts have been encouraging, with four runs allowed in 16 innings. He has 17 strikeouts and four walks in that span.

Chacin is 6-4 with a 3.17 ERA in 19 career appearances (18 starts) against Arizona. He's hoping to recapture some 2018 magic, when he allowed only four hits and one run in 12 innings against the Diamondbacks.

Arizona, which scored 19 runs Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers, had seven hits -- all singles -- against Milwaukee a night later, hitting into three inning-ending double plays. Ketel Marte stayed hot, going 2-for-4.

"Offensively, we got a little sloppy at times," manager Torey Lovullo said. "We had a couple of opportunities where we could have made some noise, but we didn't get big hits at the right time. The double plays were a big part of the equation."

The Diamondbacks reinstated infielder Wilmer Flores from the 10-day injured list on Thursday. He was hitting .281 with nine doubles and two home runs when he suffered a fractured right foot on May 19. He went 11-for-22 on a six-game rehab assignment.

"He's been swinging the bat extremely well and the reports that I've been reading have been very, very good," Lovullo said on MLB.com. "So it was time."

Milwaukee will have righty Adrian Houser available in the bullpen Friday, bumped from the rotation with Gio Gonzalez expected to return from the injured list to start Saturday in the four-game series. Houser has a 1.05 ERA in 25 2/3 innings as a reliever this season.

--Field Level Media

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