Marco Estrada looks to shake off some recent issues on the mound and record his first victory of the season on Tuesday night when the Milwaukee Brewers continue their three-game series against the Chicago Cubs.
Estrada has split time in the rotation and bullpen this season, posting a 2.00 earned run average in six relief outings without a decision while going 0-5 with a 4.80 ERA in 15 starts.
The right-hander has given up four runs in each of his last two appearances without a decision, including Thursday's five-inning stint versus the Philadelphia Phillies in which he yielded eight hits and three walks.
Estrada, 29, had previously faced the Cubs five times in relief over his career before making his first start against them on May 13. He gave up two runs over six innings of a no-decision.
The Brewers would love to get Estrada into the win column like it did young hurler Mark Rogers, who picked up his first career win in Monday's 9-5 triumph over the Cubs.
Rogers yielded three runs on five hits and fanned seven over five frames. He was pitching from behind until Milwaukee exploded for eight runs in the fifth frame.
"It feels great, it's been a long time coming," Rogers said. "I feel very good about it. Tonight wasn't my best effort of the year. The bullpen came in and really shut (the Cubs) out. When I came out and we were behind I didn't expect to get the win. Getting those eight runs in the fifth really picked me up."
Jonathan Lucroy highlighted the big frame with his second homer of the game -- a three-run shot -- and Carlos Gomez immediately followed with a home run of his own.
Josh Vitters smacked a homer and Anthony Rizzo had two hits, including an RBI double, for the Cubs, losers in four of their last five.
Justin Germano was tagged for seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.
"I don't like giving up homers, obviously. I got ground balls that last inning, but they found holes," Germano said. "I tried to limit the damage that last inning, I just want to be as consistent as I can and put the bad games behind me."
The Cubs will give Chris Rusin the start on Tuesday night, the first of his major league career.
The 25-year-old has steadily climbed up the minor league ladder since 2009, when Chicago made him a fourth-round pick. Rusin has gone 8-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 24 starts with Triple-A Iowa this season.
"It's a dream come true -- I've dreamed about this as a little kid and it finally happened," the left-handed Rusin told Chicago's website.
The Cubs probably hope that a fresh face in Rusin will change their luck in this series. Milwaukee has won eight of 11 against Chicago this season and 15 of the past 20 encounters overall. The Brewers have also claimed 13 of the last 15 matchups at home.
These two clubs will meet again for four games in Chicago next week from Aug. 27-30.