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Preview: Brewers (61-76) at Marlins (57-81)
Venue: Marlins Park
Date: September 08, 2015 7:10 PM EDT
The Milwaukee Brewers are on pace for their wost record in more than a decade, though they’re trying to end the season in positive fashion behind a red-hot offense.
They seek an eighth win in nine games Tuesday night when they visit the Miami Marlins.
Milwaukee (61-76) owns a .445 winning percentage, a mark it hasn’t seen over a full season since finishing 67-94 (.416) in 2004. The Brewers have lately looked like a force to be reckoned with offensively, though, winning 9-1 in Monday’s series opener behind 15 hits, including seven for extra bases.
They’ve averaged 6.8 runs while hitting a major league-leading .335 in the last nine games, with Adam Lind, Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun leading the way. Lind is batting .480 with 12 RBIs in his last nine, Lucroy is at .411 in his last 14 and Braun is hitting .391 in his last 12. Braun also extended his hitting streak at Miami to 18 games by going 2 for 4.
Miami (57-81) has lost 15 of its last 22, and Monday marked the 12th time it had scored two runs or fewer in that span. Manager Dan Jennings was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes.
“Just a little bit of a liberal strike zone for me,” Jennings said. “I felt like it was expanded down below and we had a difference of opinion and I expressed it and he did what he had to do and ran me.”
Both clubs will start rookie pitchers, with Milwaukee’s Taylor Jungmann (9-5, 2.42 ERA) having allowed one run or fewer over at least six innings in three of his last four starts. Jungmann defeated Pittsburgh for the third time Thursday, limiting the Pirates to one run and three hits over six innings in a 5-3 victory.
If Jungmann can improve or preserve his ERA, he’d become the fourth rookie since 1976 with an ERA of 2.42 or lower in at least 16 starts, joining Jose Fernandez, Francisco Liriano and Mark Fidrych.
This is his first start against Miami.
The Marlins counter with Adam Conley (3-1, 5.02), who looks to redeem himself after struggling in the club’s 9-6 win at Milwaukee on Aug. 18. He gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits over 3 2-3 innings. He’s posted a 3.94 ERA in three starts since, winning the last two at Washington and Atlanta.
Conley is seeking his first win at Marlins Park since a 14-3 victory against Cincinnati on July 11.
Milwaukee is one of baseball’s worst teams against left-handed pitching, batting .235, though Braun is hitting .405 off lefties since July 12. Braun and Jean Segura were a combined 4 for 5 against Conley last month.
Both pitchers have swung the bat well – Jungmann’s .321 average is the highest in the majors among pitchers with 20 or more plate appearances, and Conley is 3 for 10.