May 18, 2015

After winning a road series over the NL Central's leading team, the Detroit Tigers appeared to have a prime opportunity to maintain their momentum during a visit from the division's last-place club.

It hasn't worked out that way for the Tigers, and the Milwaukee Brewers have a chance at their first three-game sweep of Detroit in 18 years Wednesday night.

Detroit (23-17) took two of three from St. Louis this weekend with only a 2-1 loss Sunday keeping it from a sweep. The Tigers totaled 27 runs and 50 hits while winning their prior three games and haven't figured out how to get back in that groove.

They've produced a combined four runs and 19 hits in three consecutive defeats, and had three singles in an 8-1 loss Tuesday. They also placed designated hitter Victor Martinez on the disabled list because of inflammation in his surgically repaired left knee.

The Brewers, losers in four of five before this series, had a season-high 13 hits, including three consecutive home runs in a six-run third inning.

Ryan Braun began that streak with a three-run shot, and Carlos Gomez went 3 for 4 with two RBIs in his second game since being hit in the helmet with a pitch. Gomez is 5 for 10 with a home run and four RBIs in the series.

"I think everybody has passion for the game, (but) there's players it comes out in more," manager Craig Counsell told MLB's official website. "His passion really is at the surface. It's bubbling over. And it's fun to see. It puts a smile on your face."

The Brewers recorded their last three-game sweep over the Tigers from July 25-27, 1997, in their final season before moving to the NL.

Kyle Lohse (3-4, 5.85 ERA) will try to help Milwaukee accomplish that while winning a third consecutive start. He benefited from 11 runs of support in a 12-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on May 9 and got seven in eight innings against the New York Mets on Friday.

He hardly needed that assistance in a 7-0 win, yielding two hits and one walk while fanning a season-high eight. Lohse has a combined 15 strikeouts and two walks in his past 13 innings.

Lohse is facing Detroit for the first time since June 21, 2012, when he was with St. Louis. He's 7-6 with a 5.65 ERA in 20 career starts against the Tigers.

He'll pitch opposite Shane Greene, who hasn't allowed a run while winning each of his two interleague starts this season and has yielded one in 13 innings in his past two games. The right-hander, however, was forced to leave after throwing five scoreless innings in a 10-4 win against St. Louis on Friday reportedly because of mild ulnar tendinitis.

Greene had his ulnar nerve moved when he had Tommy John surgery in 2008, one year before he was drafted by the New York Yankees.

"He doesn't feel any tingling. He doesn't feel pain or anything, so that was a good sign," manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday. "He was actually working out when I saw him, which is also a good sign."

Greene has never pitched against the Brewers and only Adam Lind has faced him, going 0 for 3.

Yoenis Cespedes has two home runs in his three at-bats against Lohse but has hit two in his last 28 contests. Ian Kinsler, batting .371 in his last 16 games, is 3 for 6 lifetime with a home run.

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