Brewers-Marlins Preview


The Milwaukee Brewers have been surging recently, in large part due to the performance of the reigning NL MVP.

Ryan Braun looks to stay hot and help Milwaukee to its 13th victory in 16 tries when it continues a four-game road set against the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.

The Brewers (66-69) are having a disappointing season after winning the NL Central in 2011, but their recent solid play has them closer to reaching the .500 mark for the first time since they were 9-9 on April 24.

Milwaukee is 12-3 since Aug. 20 after beating Miami 8-4 on Tuesday, as Braun drove in two runs to give him an NL-leading 98 RBIs to go with his league-best and career high-tying 37 homers.

The Brewers are 7 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot despite Braun - hitting .312 and on the verge of his fifth straight 100-RBI season - playing just as well as his 2011 MVP campaign.

Braun is hitting .425 with three homers and 13 RBIs over his last nine games.

Norichika Aoki also has been hot, homering and driving in three runs Tuesday. He's batting .419 during an eight-game hitting streak.

"Today is today, tomorrow is another day,'' Aoki said. "It's good to be on a hot stretch right now, but I just have to take it day by day.''

The Brewers will look to keep rolling while sending Wily Peralta to the mound for his first major league start.

Peralta (0-0, 9.00 ERA), who made his major league debut in relief April 22 versus the Rockies, was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday.

The right-hander went 7-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 28 starts in the minors this season, striking out 143 in 146 2-3 innings but also walking 78.

"He's had real good velocity the whole year," manager Ron Roenicke told the team's official website. "We hope the nerves don't take over. Hopefully he could get out there and throw strikes."

Peralta is happy he isn't coming out of the bullpen in his second stint in the majors.

"I'm very excited to start. That's what I've been doing my whole career in the minor leagues,'' Peralta said. "The first time I came out of the bullpen and felt a little weird, but now I'm on my normal routine.''

He'll be opposed by Nathan Eovaldi, who will take any run support he can get.

Eovaldi (4-10, 4.48) gave up three runs and four hits in seven innings of Friday's 3-0 loss to the New York Mets, marking the eighth time in his 17 starts - including 10 with the Los Angeles Dodgers - he hasn't received any runs.

The right-hander pitched seven full innings for the first time since his first start of the season, when he went seven in a 2-1 loss to Milwaukee on May 29. A two-run, first-inning homer by Braun was the only damage in that contest.

"This is the best I've seen him throw since we got him,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said after Eovaldi's start against the Mets. "His control was very good. Hopefully with this outing, it will create a little more confidence and he will pitch better the rest of the season.''

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th homer Tuesday for the Marlins (60-76), who have lost five of six.

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