Giants-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers' offense finally showed some signs of life, erupting for season highs in runs and hits.

A similar performance could be difficult in Monday night's series opener against the San Francisco Giants, as probable starter Madison Bumgarner has regularly shut down the Brewers.

After combining for 10 runs during a four-game skid, Milwaukee (17-24) pounded out 17 hits in Sunday's 16-4 win over Minnesota. Jonathan Lucroy homered twice and had a career-high seven RBIs, while Ryan Braun went 3 for 4 with two doubles and drove in four for the Brewers, who had lost six of seven.

"We've had a rough go of it, so sometimes these days kind of catapult it," outfielder Corey Hart told the Brewers' official website. "Hopefully it does. Obviously we're not going to score this many runs every day, but it's a good day to get confidence in the guys."

No player seems to be displaying as much confidence as Lucroy, who has hit safely in 16 of 17 games while batting .413 with 19 RBIs. He hit in the cleanup spot for the first time in his career Sunday, and despite hitting a grand slam manager Ron Roenicke said he'll drop back into his regular spots in the bottom third of the order.

Like Lucroy, Braun has also been swinging a hot bat, batting .411 while hitting safely in 14 of his last 15 games.

San Francisco is well aware of what Braun and Lucroy can do. Braun is batting .389 with four homers and 11 runs scored in his last 10 games against the Giants, while Lucroy was 5 for 11 with a triple and two RBIs at San Francisco from May 4-6. The Giants (21-20), who have split their last six games overall including a 6-2 loss to Oakland on Sunday, still took two of three from Milwaukee earlier this month.

Bumgarner (5-3, 3.10 ERA) got the victory in the middle game, allowing one run and six hits in seven innings as San Francisco prevailed 5-2. In four career starts versus the Brewers, the left-hander is 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA - his lowest against any team he has faced more than twice.

Bumgarner has endured a pair of tougher outings since last beating Milwaukee. He permitted five runs and seven hits in six innings of a 5-1 loss to Arizona on May 11, then allowed four runs and seven hits in 7 1-3 innings of Wednesday's 4-1 defeat to St. Louis.

"I'm always trying to get better," he told the Giants' official website. "Last couple of games, I've got hurt on some breaking balls hanging over the plate. I still feel confident. You're gonna miss sometimes, but if you can locate and put the ball where you want to, you're gonna be successful."

Randy Wolf (2-4, 6.38) opposed Bumgarner in San Francisco on May 5 and was saddled with the loss, giving up four runs and nine hits in six innings. Although he had some trouble versus the Giants two weeks ago, Wolf has typically fared well against them, having gone 4-3 with a 2.06 ERA in 11 outings since 2008.

The left-hander is hoping to bounce back after being knocked around for seven runs, seven hits and three walks in a season-low four innings of Wednesday's 8-3 loss at Houston.

He'll have to be careful with Angel Pagan, who is 7 for 18 (.389) lifetime against Wolf and has been on a tear at the plate overall.

Pagan is batting .439 during an 11-game hitting streak, and has at least one hit in 31 of his last 32 games. He was 5 for 12 versus the Brewers earlier this month, and is batting .433 with five doubles during a 14-game hitting streak against them.

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