Brewers-Nationals Preview

The Associated Press

Despite being without their top hitters and losing their starting pitcher to injury, the Milwaukee Brewers ended their slide.

With Kyle Lohse getting the nod after a strong June, they'll try to string together back-to-back victories Wednesday night against the host Washington Nationals.

Milwaukee (33-49) was without Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez on Tuesday. Gomez, who leads the team in homers (12) and OPS (.906), continued to heal a left shoulder injury that saw him miss time last month. Segura's .325 batting average is one of the best in baseball but he has been nursing a sore right thumb, manager Ron Roenicke told the team's official website.

Segura and Gomez's combined 92 runs account for 28.2 percent of the Brewers' team total of 326.

"To take two guys out of the Nos. 2 and 3 hole, that's not something I wanted to do," he said. "We're trying to get them back healthy. They're both such an important part of our lineup this year."

Roenicke also said that Ryan Braun - still sidelined with a bruised right thumb - will likely not return until after the All-Star break. Braun's primary replacement, Logan Schafer, is hitting .187 since Braun's last game on June 9.

But Schafer was 1 for 4 with a run in Milwaukee's 4-0 victory over Washington on Tuesday, ending the team's second six-game losing streak of the season. Starter Wily Peralta left in the sixth inning due to a hamstring injury and Stephen Strasburg stifled the Brewers with seven shutout innings, but that was before they tagged reliever Drew Storen for four runs in the eighth.

The bullpen for Washington (42-41) ranks 15th in the majors in ERA at 3.62, but has posted a 6.14 mark over the last five games.

Five players combined for the Nationals' eight hits Tuesday, and Bryce Harper was 0 for 4 in his second game back after missing more than a month with knee bursitis. Harper also dropped a flyball off the bat of Martin Maldonado, leading to the third of Milwaukee's four runs in the eighth.

Looking to lead the Brewers to a second consecutive road win for the first time since June 1 will be Lohse (3-6, 3.63 ERA). He exited his last start Sunday at Pittsburgh after 1 2-3 innings after a 2-hour, 20-minute rain delay. He didn't allow a hit though, putting a cap on an impressive June that saw him go 2-0 with a 2.34 ERA over 34 2-3 innings.

Harper is 3 for 6 against Lohse while Jayson Werth is 8 for 21 with three homers and three doubles. Werth was 0 for 3 Tuesday after going 11 for 29 (.379) over his previous eight games, including a five-RBI performance in Monday's 10-5 series-opening win.

Washington starter Ross Detwiler (2-6, 4.13) will hope to receive some better fortune than Strasburg. The left-hander is winless through his last five starts while posting a 7.15 ERA, but he also received a total of five runs of support in those games.

Rickie Weeks - who is hitting .229 on the season but owns a 1.050 OPS over his last 11 games - is 3 for 5 off Detwiler with a homer.

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