MLB

Brewers-Giants Preview

It's possible that Nori Aoki needs to work on his timing after two hitless efforts since returning from a 28-game absence after breaking his right fibula.

The San Francisco Giants may not want to rest him Wednesday because of his gaudy average in day games and success earlier this year against Milwaukee Brewers starter Mike Fiers.

Aoki and Joe Panik each had two hits off Fiers in a May victory and have the chance to face the right-hander again in this three-game series finale, with the status of the Brewers' Ryan Braun in doubt.

Aoki is 0 for 6 in this series after being activated before Monday's 4-2 win. He batted eighth in that game and hit second in Tuesday's 5-2 defeat that ended the Giants' six-game win streak.

The left fielder is tied for second in the majors with a .400 average in day games. He also went 9 for 14 in a three-game sweep at Milwaukee (44-57) from May 25-27 in his first action against his first big league club.

San Francisco (55-45) capped that series with a 3-1 victory over Fiers (5-8, 3.94 ERA), who was charged with two runs in five innings. Half of the hits allowed by Fiers came off the bats of Aoki and Panik, who hit a two-run homer.

Panik will likely get a second straight day off Wednesday because of back stiffness.

The Giants lost for the second time in 14 games and missed a chance to take over the NL West lead. They trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by one-half game.

''It doesn't matter where you're at right now, to be honest,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ''It's a little early to be doing that. It's all about going out there, playing well and winning ballgames. It's pretty simple at this stage. There's a lot of baseball left.''

Fiers fell to 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against the Giants with the May defeat. He struck out 10 and gave up five runs in five innings in last Thursday's 8-3 defeat at Arizona that opened this seven-game trip in which the Brewers are 2-4.

Braun, who has a team-high 61 RBIs, homered in the first two games of the trip but has yet to play in this series due to lower back tightness. It's unclear if he will play Wednesday.

"Just day to day with it, really just trying to get it better," manager Craig Counsell said. "He's had similar stuff to this in the past."

Braun would have a tough assignment if he comes back since he is 2 for 14 with six strikeouts against Giants starter Jake Peavy (2-4, 4.86), who seeks to capture his third straight start. Peavy allowed three runs in six-plus innings in Friday's 9-3 rout of Oakland.

The veteran right-hander went 1-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three starts against the Brewers last year. Jonathan Lucroy went 4 for 8 with a homer and two doubles in those games against Peavy.

Milwaukee's Adam Lind is 4 for 11 with a home run and two doubles versus Peavy. Lind drove in two runs to give him 60 RBIs in his return Tuesday after missing two games due to lower back tightness.

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