McGehee looks to continue bolstering his rookie credentials as the Brewers seek a fourth straight win while continuing their series against the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
Much was expected from the Brewers (72-75) after winning the wild card last year, but the lack of consistent starting pitching has relegated them to being also-rans for the last few weeks. While Prince Fielder(notes) and Ryan Braun have again shouldered the offensive load with a combined 68 homers and 227 RBIs, McGehee has made solid contributions while becoming the team’s everyday third baseman.
He had two hits including a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning of Friday’s 3-2 victory. McGehee leads all rookies with 59 RBIs and is batting .480 with two homers and nine RBIs in his last eight games.
“I’ve really been not trying to focus on stats or any kind of that stuff,” he said. “I’m just really trying to focus on just putting a good at bat together.”
McGehee is also second among rookies with 15 homers and in the top 10 with 51 runs and 94 hits.
He has not faced Brian Moehler(notes) (8-10, 5.01 ERA), who takes the mound trying to end a four-start winless streak despite not allowing more than three runs in any outing. He did not get a decision last Saturday, when he yielded two runs and seven hits in six innings in Houston’s 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh.
The right-hander was saddled with a loss against the Brewers on Aug. 15, when he was reached for three runs and 10 hits in five innings of a 6-2 defeat to fall to 4-9 lifetime versus Milwaukee.
Fielder, who shares the Brewers single-season franchise record of 126 RBIs with Astros manager Cecil Cooper, is 6 for 11 with two homers lifetime against Moehler.
Houston (70-77) has dropped five straight, falling behind Milwaukee and into fourth in the NL Central during its skid. Four of the losses have been by one run - the other was a two-run defeat - and the Astros are 5 for 33 with runners in scoring position in that span.
Getting the ball for Milwaukee is Jeff Suppan(notes) (6-10, 4.07), who has one win in eight starts since the All-Star break but been victimized by his team’s lack of offense recently. He limited Chicago to one run - a solo homer by Derek Lee - and three hits in seven innings of a 2-0 defeat to the Cubs on Monday, and the Brewers have failed to score for him in his last 16 2-3 innings pitched.
The right-hander has not received a decision in two starts against the Astros this year - both at Houston - giving up seven runs and 12 hits in 11 innings. Suppan is 2-7 in 15 lifetime starts versus the Astros, whom he has not beaten since April 20, 2004 with St. Louis.