MIAMI (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers are riding a rare three-game winning streak, but it appears to be in serious jeopardy considering Ryan Braun’s thumb injury and Yovani Gallardo’s struggles.
Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins aim for a three-game winning streak of their own – only their third of the season – Monday night when they host Milwaukee.
Both teams – amongst baseball’s worst – have experienced more success than usual lately, though it’s primarily come at the expense of one team. Milwaukee (25-37) has won six of 10, but five of those victories came against Philadelphia, while Miami (18-44) has won five of eight, all over the Mets.
The Brewers beat the Phillies 9-1 on Sunday for their first three-game win streak since a nine-game run in April. Braun, however, left in the third inning because of a sore right thumb that continues to bother him. Manager Ron Roenicke said before the game he was hopeful his outfielder wouldn’t need a stint on the disabled list.
Braun told the team’s official website he could miss Monday’s game, while Roenicke said he would talk to general manager Doug Melvin about the situation.
The five-time All-Star is 15 for 59 (.254) without a home run over his last 16 games. He would be sorely missed versus the Marlins, whom he is hitting .354 over the last 24 contests against with seven homers and 28 RBIs.
“We need to get this thumb right and if he needs a day or two days, we’ll do it,” Roenicke said. “But we have to figure out how to get him back to where – he’s been productive, but he’s not the Ryan Braun that we usually know.”
Gallardo (4-6, 5.25 ERA) has lost five of his last six starts, posting a 6.25 ERA. He appeared to be getting back on track against Oakland on Wednesday, allowing three singles in six shutout innings before unraveling in the seventh. He issued a leadoff walk, and was charged with five runs and three hits in that inning alone before exiting.
“I got away from what I was doing and the next thing you know I ended up walking him and getting into trouble,” said Gallardo, 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in five starts against the Marlins.
The Marlins are growing healthier with Logan Morrison rejoining the lineup and Giancarlo Stanton close to being ready. They were 8-4 winners in 10 innings over the Mets Sunday – a day after winning in 20 – with Morrison going 2 for 4 and scoring the go-ahead run in his first game since July 28.
Morrison, who is 0 for 9 off of Gallardo with four strikeouts, had been recovering from right knee surgery.
Stanton has been on the disabled list since April 30 due to a strained right hamstring, but could be activated prior to Monday’s game.
“Even if he just stands there, that’s a great presence to have in our lineup,” manager Mike Redmond told the team’s official website. “I feel comfortable, if he feels like he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.”
Getting the nod for Miami will be Ricky Nolasco (3-6, 3.61), who owns a 2.17 ERA over his last four starts. He’s struggled in seven outings versus the Brewers, splitting four decisions with a 7.71 ERA.
Milwaukee’s Norichika Aoki has hit safely in 10 straight and is 12 for 31 (.387) in eight career games against the Marlins.
The Brewers have won 15 of the last 21 meetings, though the teams split eight contests last year.
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