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News » Marlins-Brewers Preview 2009-05-13

Marlins-Brewers Preview 2009-05-13

Marlins-Brewers Preview 2009-05-13
Power hitting was a big part of why the Milwaukee Brewers won the NL wild card last season. Following a slow start at the plate, they appear to be heating up again.

After hitting a season high in home runs in their last game, Prince Fielder and the Brewers continue a three-game series with the Florida Marlins on Wednesday.

Milwaukee (19-14) was third in the NL last season with 198 home runs as it reached the playoffs for the first time since 1982. The Brewers got off to a frustrating start in 2009, though, hitting .222 with 13 home runs as they began the season 3-8.

Milwaukee seems to be regaining its form, however. It's 16-6 since April 19, hitting .276 during that stretch. The Brewers have hit nine home runs in the first four games of this six-game homestand, including a season-high four in Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Marlins.

Milwaukee had lost five of its previous six against Florida (17-16), during which it hit only three round-trippers.

On Tuesday, Fielder hit a pair of two-run homers and finished with three hits in the victory after going hitless in his previous 10 at-bats. It was Fielder's 14th career multihomer game and first time he hit two off a left-handed pitcher since doing it against Phillies starter Cole Hamels on April 23, 2008.

"I feel more comfortable (against left-handers), because I see them more," said Fielder, who has hit seven home runs this season. "It's not getting easier, but because I'm seeing them a lot more it's not such a shock when I do see them."

Rickie Weeks and Mike Cameron also homered in the victory.

Florida, which has lost eight of 11, had led 3-0 after three innings, but John Koronka - starting in place of Anibal Sanchez (shoulder) - couldn't protect the lead, and the Marlins managed just one hit in the final seven innings.

"We had some opportunities offensively, and we just couldn't get a big hit," Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez told the Marlins' official Web site.

Florida's offense hopes to have better luck against Braden Looper (2-2, 4.18 ERA), who takes the mound for the Brewers.

Looper is trying to avoid losing a third straight start. The right-hander struggled Thursday against the Reds, allowing five runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 6-5 loss.

"The whole outing ... frustration was putting it the nice way," Looper, who was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his first four starts, told the Brewers' official Web site. "I just didn't have it. I kept trying and kept trying, and I wasn't able to get the ball down and couldn't locate anything."

Looper, who pitched for the Marlins from 1999-2003, is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four starts against them and 4-2 with four saves and a 3.86 ERA in 20 lifetime appearances.

The Marlins counter with Ricky Nolasco (2-3, 6.63), who snapped a personal three-game losing streak last Friday at Colorado, pitching six innings while allowing three runs and eight hits in an 8-3 victory.

Wednesday is Nolasco's sixth straight start on the road. The right-hander has no record and a 7.71 ERA in two starts versus Milwaukee.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 13, 2009

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