Zack Greinke still hasn't lost in 21 starts at home since joining the Brewers. The way he's pitching now, the venue doesn't matter much anyway.
Greinke looks to extend a 15-inning scoreless streak and help Milwaukee avoid a season-high fifth straight loss Sunday in the series finale against the Minnesota Twins.
The decision to acquire Greinke from Kansas City in December 2010 has turned out to be an excellent one for the Brewers, who won their first division title since 1982 last season with the right-hander at the top of their rotation.
Greinke is 21-8 with a 3.81 ERA in 39 starts - including three in the postseason - with Milwaukee. In 21 starts at Miller Park, he's 14-0 with a 3.16 ERA. The Brewers had won the first 20 of those games before a 2-1 loss to Cincinnati on May 9.
Any offensive support would have meant another win for Greinke (4-1, 2.88 ERA), who gave up two hits over eight scoreless innings with no walks and a season-high 11 strikeouts before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. Greinke has tossed 15 shutout innings in his past two starts, yielding seven hits while fanning 18 and walking none.
"Control's been good, the last two starts. That's the main key,'' said Greinke, 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA at home this season. "It's mainly just being able to throw quality strikes.''
Greinke is very familiar with the Twins (14-26), having spent the bulk of his career with AL Central rival Kansas City. He'd probably just as soon not see them again since he's 3-8 with a 4.96 ERA in 20 games - 16 starts - against Minnesota.
Despite those numbers, Greinke has fared well against Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. The Twins' two best hitters are a combined 16 for 69 (.231) with no homers in their matchups with Greinke.
The Brewers (16-24) are in need of another strong outing from their best starter after matching a season high with their fourth straight loss, 5-4 in 11 innings Saturday. The top three hitters in the order were a combined 7 for 15, but the rest of the team went 2 for 27 as Milwaukee dropped a season-worst eight games below .500.
While their starting pitchers have compiled a 6.30 ERA during the four-game skid, the Brewers' offense has also struggled, batting .229 and totaling 10 runs.
"We've got to be able to score a run,'' manager Ron Roenicke said.
Rickie Weeks' woes haven't helped. He went 0 for 5 with four strikeouts Saturday and is 3 for 38 with 19 strikeouts in his last 10 games.
Minnesota stretched its longest win streak of the season to four Saturday, getting a home run from Trevor Plouffe in the 11th inning. After scoring 20 runs in their previous seven games, the Twins have plated 31 in the last four while batting .302.
"I think everybody is coming together, from our starting lineup to the pitchers to the bullpen,'' outfielder Ben Revere said. "We go to Detroit and sweep them. Hopefully, we can finish this thing off with a sweep. It'd be good feeling. We'd be right back in this.''
A sweep figures to be a challenge with struggling Jason Marquis (2-3, 6.68) on the mound for Minnesota.
The right-hander allowed five runs and nine hits over five innings in a 5-0 loss to Cleveland on Tuesday, becoming the first Twins pitcher to surrender three homers in one inning since Carl Pavano on Sept. 25, 2010.
Marquis is 1-4 with a 7.06 ERA in his last six starts against Milwaukee.
Ryan Braun is one of several Brewers who should be happy to see Marquis. He's 10 for 20 with four doubles against Marquis, while Aramis Ramirez is 10 for 27 with two homers and Corey Hart is 7 for 19 with a home run.