Preview: Brewers vs. Dodgers
MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers will try to notch consecutive victories for the first time in more than two weeks when they wrap up a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
The Brewers snapped a season-long seven-game losing skid Saturday night with a 4-2 victory over the Dodgers, moving them 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs, who took over the top spot in the NL Central during Milwaukees slide.
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“We needed it,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Counsell has had to navigate his team through a rash of injuries during the streak but his roster is slowly creeping back to full strength. Catcher Manny Pina returned for the start of the second half while Ryan Braun came off the disabled list ahead of Saturdays game and first baseman Eric Thames went through a third straight day of on-field workouts, making his return likely within the next few days.
“Our health is important going forward and as each day goes by, we feel like were making progress,” Counsell said.
Milwaukee goes for the series victory behind left-hander Brent Suter (8-6, 4.39 ERA), who returned from the disabled list last Saturday and took a loss after allowing just a run on two hits over five innings of work against the Pirates.
Suter has never faced the Dodgers, who are expected to get a roster boost of their own when Justin Turner returns to manager Dave Roberts lineup after missing five games with a sore right hip.
Turner went through a full on-field workout Saturday and reported no further issues with the hip and then entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning before striking out against left-hander Josh Hader.
“Im fine swinging,” Turner said. “I took ground balls and felt pretty good. I can run to a certain point and keep it in control, but I (got injured) on a check swing, and thats probably the one box that is kind of hard to check off without taking an at-bat. Just trying to continue to keep progressing and go day by day.”
Sunday will mark Turners first start since July 11, though the Dodgers opted not to put him on the disabled list during that stretch.
“It was a little bit difficult to not have a guy you can plug in there to play defense,” Roberts said. “But with the versatility we have in our position player group, we can have (Turner) off the bench and have him run for himself. Just the threat to have him on the DL, to lose him for the next six or seven days, just doesnt make sense for us.”
Left-hander Alex Wood (5-5, 3.92) gets the start Sunday as the Dodgers look to win a third straight series.
Hes allowed three runs in each of his last two outings, both of them six-inning efforts that resulted in no-decisions. Prior to that, hed won four straight starts, posting a 2.19 ERA during that stretch with 18 strikeouts and just three walks in 24 2/3 innings of work.
Wood is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in five career appearances (one start) against the Brewers but hasnt faced Milwaukee since May 22, 2014 when he worked a scoreless inning of relief for the Braves.