Thanks to some timely hitting, the Milwaukee Brewers finally feel they may be rebounding from their worst stretch of the season.
The Brewers go for their third straight victory as they continue a four-game series with the Florida Marlins on Saturday at Miller Park.
Milwaukee (31-24) dropped 12 of 15 games from May 13-28, but has since won three of its last four. The NL Central-leading Brewers scored their most runs in 10 games on Friday, beating the Marlins 8-5.
“The first month, everything went our way, and the second month, we couldn’t get anything to go our way,” outfielder Kevin Mench told the Brewers’ official Web site. “We started a new month today.”
Mench had four RBIs and Ryan Braun—playing his eighth game in the majors— homered, doubled and singled for Milwaukee, which scored all of its runs with two outs. The Brewers improved to 17-5 when recording 10 or more hits.
“When you’re getting those hits, that’s when things start to turn around for you a little bit,” said Brewers manager Ned Yost, whose team won back-to-back games for the first time since May 20 and 21.
The Brewers have won four in a row versus the Marlins (26-29) following a nine-game skid in the series. Chris Capuano (5-4, 3.94 ERA) will try to continue that run and avoid a career-high fifth straight loss when he takes the mound for Milwaukee.
The left-hander went 5-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his first seven starts, but since then is 0-4 with a 7.08 ERA in his last four outings, allowing opponents to hit .345. He has gotten only two total runs of support during his recent slide, though, and pitched well enough to deserve a win in his last start.
Capuano held Atlanta to two runs and seven hits over seven innings in a 2-1 defeat Monday. He walked two and struck out six, throwing 68 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
Capuano is 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in five career starts versus the Marlins, who are trying to avoid a third straight defeat. Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez each homered Friday and had two RBIs, while Armando Benitez threw a hitless eighth inning in his first appearance since being acquired from San Francisco on Thursday.
Byung-Hyun Kim (3-2, 5.16) tries to build on his best start of the season when he takes the ball for Florida. The right-hander pitched six shutout innings while scattering three hits in a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Monday.
He walked three and struck out five in his longest outing of 2007 to improve to 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA since joining the Marlins in mid-May.
“He was really good today, he had all three of his pitches going,” pitching coach Rick Kranitz told the Marlins’ official Web site. “He hit his spots. What he did today was he used his stuff the right way. He pitched ahead in the count. … It was a quality outing.”
Kim is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA in 14 career games, including two starts, versus the Brewers. He won’t have to face Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right wrist and received a cortisone shot Friday after Dr. Don Sheridan confirmed a diagnosis of tendinitis.
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