Brewers-Dodgers Preview

The Associated Press

While injuries have been piling up for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Milwaukee Brewers could have Ryan Braun back for their second series against the NL West leaders in a week.

Braun got a day off to rest a bothersome right hand but is expected to be in lineup for the NL Central-leading Brewers' attempt to deal former pitcher Zack Greinke another loss Friday night.

The Dodgers (70-53) have placed five players on the disabled list this month, most notably Hanley Ramirez (oblique) and Josh Beckett (hip). Another starting pitcher, Hyun-Jin Ryu, is expected to undergo an MRI for a strained right glute after leaving Wednesday's 3-2 loss in Atlanta.

Despite those absences, Los Angeles has won seven of 10 and four of five since dropping its first two games in Milwaukee last weekend. Dee Gordon totaled five hits in the final two games in Atlanta and went 3 for 4 with a career-high four runs and two stolen bases in a 6-4 victory Thursday.

"I had a rough week and a half, two weeks - getting a hit, lining out and not having much to show for it," said Gordon, who was 3 for 25 in a six-game stretch. "I just grinded it out and just tried to keep playing my game."

Greinke (12-8, 2.84 ERA) took the second of those back-to-back losses to the Brewers on Saturday, giving up four runs and eight hits in six innings in a 4-1 defeat.

Greinke, who made 49 starts for Milwaukee from 2011-12, is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in two career starts against the Brewers but has never faced them outside Miller Park. He's 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 10 home outings this season but took a 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in his most recent start there, giving up five runs - three earned - in seven innings.

Milwaukee (67-55) is dealing with injuries to starting pitchers Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse but Braun is expected to return from a nagging nerve issue in his right hand Friday. Braun sat out a 6-2 win against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, and Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura were also given the day off.

"At this point, my only focus is dealing with it the best we can, managing it," Braun told MLB's official website. "The trainers have been great. We're trying to stay on the field and compete the best I can."

Scooter Gennett had a two-run double, and Khris Davis and Mark Reynolds homered as Milwaukee forced a four-game split with the last-place Cubs.

The Brewers are 6-12 on the road since the beginning of July, and Jimmy Nelson (2-3, 4.00) will try to help his club begin to change its fortunes away from home.

Since giving up eight runs in 4 1-3 innings to St. Louis in his return from the minors July 12, the right-hander has a 3.46 ERA in four games. He's received eight total runs of support and has a 1-2 record in that stretch.

Nelson gave up two runs over six innings in his first start against the Dodgers on Sunday but was outdueled by Clayton Kershaw in a 5-1 defeat. Kershaw, tied for the major league lead in wins with 14, will start Saturday's game.

Braun is batting .333 (8 for 24) in his last seven games against the Dodgers but is 1 for 5 lifetime versus Greinke. Aramis Ramirez is batting .390 in his last 11 matchups and has four hits in his last five at-bats against the Dodgers' right-hander.

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