The Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers haven't fared too well at the plate against right-handers. Now they will face rookie right-handed starters they have never seen.
It's hard to know what to expect in Saturday night's pitching matchup between the Brewers' Wily Peralta and Dodgers' Stephen Fife, with Milwaukee seeking to even this series at a game apiece.
These teams entered play Friday leading the NL in batting average against left-handers, with Milwaukee (11-10) at .301 and Los Angeles (11-11) at .296. It's been a different story for both against right-handers, with the Brewers at .226 and Dodgers at .225 entering the weekend.
Los Angeles won 7-5 on Friday, and it's probably not surprising that the game's biggest hit came against a left-hander. Adrian Gonzalez doubled in two runs off Brewers reliever Mike Gonzalez with two outs in the seventh inning to give the Dodgers the lead for good at 5-4.
"All that matters is winning games,'' said Adrian Gonzalez, who finished with three RBIs. "We've lost some games that we should have won, but that's behind is, and now we have to focus on winning each and every day.''
The slugger's go-ahead double went off the glove of center fielder Carlos Gomez.
"We should have won the game," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We just didn't make a play.''
Now these teams will get their first looks at pitchers who made their debuts last season, but didn't log enough 2012 innings to lose their rookie statuses.
Peralta (1-1, 5.16 ERA) seems to have the greater pedigree between these starters heading into his 10th career outing and fifth of 2013. The Brewers' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012, Peralta earned his first victory Sunday by limiting the Cubs to two runs over 6 2-3 innings in a 4-2 home victory.
Control has been an issue this season for Peralta, whose walks per nine innings is 4.37. That could be an issue against a Dodgers team that ranks third in the majors with 87 walks.
Fife (0-0, 7.71) remains in the rotation for his second 2013 start as he replaces the injured Chad Billingsley. His sixth career start came Sunday as he yielded four runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 7-4 win at Baltimore.
"I'd like to have come out of the game better, gotten deeper," Fife said. "I kind of failed in one aspect but gave us enough of a chance to walk out of here with a win."
Fife is still looking for his first big-league victory after going 0-2 with a 2.70 ERA in five outings last year for the Dodgers.
He'll try to slow down Yuniesky Betancourt, who is 6 for 16 with two homers and seven RBIs on this road trip for the Brewers. Fife will also get his first look at former NL MVP Ryan Braun, whose .393 average at Dodger Stadium is his second-highest in any current NL park.
Milwaukee won 10 of 13 from Los Angeles over the previous two seasons before the Dodgers ended a four-game home losing streak in the series Friday. The Brewers have dropped two straight after a nine-game win streak.
Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis left with a right quad strain, and Nick Punto replaced him.