Dodgers-Brewers Preview

Milwaukee's recent success was too little, too late to save Ron Roenicke's job.

The Brewers can still save their season, though, especially if they keep pitching the way they have been lately.

They'll look to win a second straight series Thursday against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.

Milwaukee relieved Roenicke of his duties following Sunday's 5-3 win against the Chicago Cubs, the finale in the club's first series victory of the season. Though the Brewers (9-19) still own baseball's worst record, they're 2-1 under Craig Counsell and have a chance to win another series after Wednesday's 6-3 victory.

The pitching staff owns a 3.05 ERA during a 5-2 stretch, down from 4.87 during a 4-17 start, which included a 5.55 mark by the rotation. Starters have recorded a quality outing in six of seven, however, and Mike Fiers (1-3, 4.74 ERA) looks poised to turn in another.

Fiers seemed to put a rough April behind him Saturday against Chicago, striking out 12 and allowing three hits while giving up one run on a homer over six innings in a 6-1 road win.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction," he said. "I think I was fine mentally before, but it's great to get a great start like this and get a good team win and move on from it, so the next start I have that in the back of my mind that, 'Hey, I can still do this.'"

Fiers won his three previous appearances against the Dodgers, including two starts, giving up two runs in 16 2-3 innings.

Milwaukee's offense continues to be sparked at home by Adam Lind, who homered and doubled Wednesday and has three doubles in his last four games. He's hitting .389 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 16 games at Miller Park compared to .231 with one homer and three RBIs in 11 on the road.

Joc Pederson continued to shine for Los Angeles (17-10), which had won eight of 11. The rookie homered twice and has nine on the season with each of his last seven hits leaving the park.

"He's got quality plate discipline and he's got power, those are two pretty good traits," Counsell said.

Manager Don Mattingly said he would like to rest some starters for Thursday's finale, including Jimmy Rollins. Wednesday's Nos. 1-4 hitters Pederson, Rollins, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez have played in all 27 games.

Carlos Frias (2-0, 0.00) has yet to allow a run over 7 2-3 innings and won as a starter for the first time in his career Friday, defeating Arizona 8-0. Frias was making a spot start for the injured Brandon McCarthy but could stick around in the rotation if similar performances are in store with McCarthy undergoing Tommy John surgery last week.

"I think you saw tonight what he's capable of," third baseman Justin Turner said. "He's got unbelievable stuff, and he throws 95-98 (mph) with a lot of sink and he can command his pitches "

Frias had his start pushed back a day to give him additional rest.

"Not really worried about his arm, just wanted to give him an extra day," Mattingly said.

Frias struggled in three relief appearances versus Milwaukee last season, giving up five runs in six innings.


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