The Milwaukee Brewers continue to surge at the expense of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who haven’t won a road game in more than a month.
Looking to complete a four-game series sweep, the Brewers also can extend the Diamondbacks’ club-record road losing streak to 17 games on Sunday.
From May 2-21, Milwaukee lost 13 of 17. Since then, the Brewers are 11-3 and tied for first in the National League Central.
Christian Yelich hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Omar Narvaez followed with a solo shot of his own Saturday, as the Brewers won for the eighth time in nine games, 7-5 over Arizona.
Milwaukee has hit 17 of its 73 total homers over the past six games, including nine in this series.
“It comes in waves,” Yelich, who has hit two of his three homers in this series, told Bally Sports Wisconsin of his club’s power surge. “We started off the season a little slow offensively, kind of. You stuck with it, and thought it was gonna turn for us.”
Batting .317 on the season, Narvaez is 5-for-7 with three RBIs in the past two games.
The Brewers will turn to Corbin Burnes (2-4, 2.24 ERA), who has not earned a winning decision since April 20, when he was 2-1 with an 0.37 ERA over his first four starts. In five starts since, the right-hander is 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA.
However, Burnes allowed just one run on six hits and two walks, and he struck out seven over six innings of a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Detroit on Monday.
Burnes has at least seven strikeouts in each of his nine starts this season. This will be the first time he faces the Diamondbacks, who have dropped 18 of 20, are 5-27 since May 3 and haven’t won on the road since April 25.
Arizona will turn to Caleb Smith (2-1, 3.32) for his second straight start after 18 of his first 19 appearances of the season came out of the bullpen. Smith allowed a two-run homer and two other hits over five innings of a 6-5, 10-inning home victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday.
It was the left-hander’s first start since April 3.
“It still wasn’t up to my standard, but I feel like I proved myself,” Smith, eager to remain in the starting rotation, told the Diamondbacks’ official website.
“That’s what I’ve been working towards even since I got taken out of the rotation. When they told me that I was getting the start, I knew it was my opportunity to go out there and show them what I can do and try to earn that spot in (the) rotation back.”
Smith has not had much success against the Brewers, going 0-3 with a 4.86 ERA in three starts. Yelich has been particularly tough on Smith, going 3-for-6 with two home runs against him.
After his 14-game hitting streak ended Friday night, Diamondbacks rookie Pavin Smith recorded two hits Saturday. He’s batting .411 (23-for-56) in his past 16 games.
–Field Level Media