Brewers Hope to Stay Hot on West Coast

Brewers looking to reverse past troubles on West Coast, starting with three-game series in San Diego.

Inside pitch

The Brewers are the No. 1 team in the major leagues in winning one-run games (23-10). They have won 21 games in their final at-bat, which also leads the majors. So what does that all mean?

"It says we're a good team," manager Ned Yost said. "We're finding ways to win. That's important. When I first came here, that was a focus of mine, to try to improve in one-run games. That means you're finding ways to manufacture runs, to find ways to score that one run you need to win that ball game.

"That's key to be able to do that. You're not going to blow everybody out. You have to be able to win those one-run games. You have to have a good 'pen to do it. You've got to have good defense to do it."

Yost said it can be demoralizing to lose close games, one after another.

"You're playing good but you just lose by one run," he said. "You go back over the course of the game and you figure out two or three spots where you could have scored that run. That makes it even worse."

Brewers 7, Nationals 1

The Brewers completed a sweep of their four-game series against Washington to increase their winning streak to six games. They also boosted their record to 17 games above .500 (68-51) for the first time this season.

Right-hander Dave Bush continued the roll the starting pitchers have been on by holding Washington to one run over 6 1/3 innings. In the four games, starters CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Manny Parra and Bush limited the Nationals to two runs in 31 1/3 innings (0.58 ERA).

Second baseman Rickie Weeks led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Corey Hart later added a two-run shot off Nationals starter Garrett Mock. The key moment came in the fifth inning when Bush pitched out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to preserve a 3-1 lead.

Notes

--Weeks hit his 10th home run of the season but his first at home. Weeks became the first player since the Yankees' Bernie Williams in 2003 to hit his first nine home runs of a season on the road.

--Left fielder Ryan Braun sat out his second consecutive game with what was described as tightness in both sides of his lower rib cage. Gabe Kapler, who hit a walk-off homer Sunday in the 13th inning against Washington, filled in again for Braun.

--Brewers starters are 7-2 with a 1.98 ERA (16 earned runs in 72 2/3 innings) and nine quality starts over the last 10 games.

--Righty David Riske made his first bullpen appearance since July 31 against the Chicago Cubs. Riske said going nine games without pitching was the longest period of inactivity of his career. He pitched the eighth inning, working around a leadoff single and one-out walk.

--Bush is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in two starts since Yost ended the home-away platoon with Bush and righty Seth McClung in the same spot in the starting rotation.

By the numbers

14--Consecutive sellouts at home through action Sunday. The Brewers have 30 sell-outs for the season in 58 games.

Quote of the day

"I'll take what they give me."--backup catcher Mike Rivera, who has only 54 at-bats this year but has made the most of them, batting .333 with one homer and 14 RBI.

San Diego Padres

The Padres' decision to give their starting pitchers an extra day's rest and keep a five-man rotation over a run of three open days between July 31 and Aug. 11 has frustrated Jake Peavy.

Peavy was unhappy that he didn't start the Padres' final game in Shea Stadium on Thursday. And he's being pushed back again this week and will start Thursday afternoon against the Brewers rather than Wednesday night.

With the Padres far out of the race, manager Bud Black believes it makes sense not only to give starters Peavy, Greg Maddux and Chris Young an extra day's rest when possible but to take a longer look at Josh Banks.

Maddux is 42. And Peavy (elbow) and Young (hit in the face by a line drive) have spent time on the disabled list this season.

Notes

--Righty Bryan Corey was scheduled to have his strained left hamstring re-evaluated today to decide if he can continue pitching or should go on the 15-day disabled list. Corey suffered the strain Saturday night in Colorado, but the Padres decided to wait until after Monday's off day to decide the next course.

--Brett Tomko returned home with the Padres from Denver on Sunday evening after making back-to-back appearances with Class AAA Portland in Colorado Springs. Tomko, who has been on the disabled list since July 1 with a strained elbow after making only two appearances with the Padres, allowed four runs on three hits and a walk in just 1 1/3 innings in the two appearances with Portland.

--Catcher Josh Bard was apparently the subject of trade talks with Florida before he suffered a right triceps strain Friday night in Colorado. The Padres appear to be ready to go with rookies Nick Hundley and Luke Carlin as their catchers.

--First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was 6-for-10 in the last two games in Denver over the weekend after his average had fallen to .274, its lowest since May 23.

--Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi is 1-for-20 since returning from the disabled list Aug. 2. Iguchi had been out since separating his shoulder June 5. He was not expected to be activated for another week to 10 days but was pressed back into service when shortstop Khalil Greene was injured.

By the numbers

5--National League-leading four-hit games by Brian Giles this season.

7 --Padres who have hit their first major league homer this season (Luke Carlin, Chase Headley, Nick Hundley, Edgar Gonzalez, Brian Myrow, Cha Seung Baek and Justin Huber).

1,800--Career hits by Giles, which he reached Sunday at Coors Field in Denver.

Quote of the day

"Waivers are supposed to be secret. Waivers are asked on a lot of players and it never becomes public. I don't know who leaked it. It's part of business. But I'm not happy the way it was handled."—Giles, who was upset the Red Sox waiver claim on him became public. He used a clause in his contract to veto any trade to Boston.


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