With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Milwaukee Brewers know it will be tough to capture a playoff berth.
The Brewers, though, have been in postseason mode the past few weeks and will try for a series win over the Washington Nationals today in the finale of a four-game set in D.C.
Milwaukee sits 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final wild card spot in the National League and is coming off Sunday's 6-2 win at Nationals Park in which it recorded four runs over the seventh and eighth innings for the victory. Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez both had RBI singles to highlight the seventh inning and Ryan Braun's sacrifice fly in the eighth gave the Brewers some breathing room.
Rickie Weeks posted three hits for Milwaukee, which has won seven of eight and 10 of its last 12 games.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo gave up two runs on six hits over a five- inning start for the no-decision and Brandon Kintzler earned the win with a scoreless sixth.
"He's our guy that we go to when we need to stop something going on and he usually pitches a great game," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Gallardo.
The Brewers are 5-1 on a 10-game road trip and will visit Cincinnati for three games at Great American Ball Park. Taking the mound for Milwaukee this afternoon will be Marco Estrada, who has won two straight outings and four of his past five decisions.
In a 3-1 win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Estrada hurled seven shutout innings and scattered three hits to improve to 4-6 with a 3.56 earned run average in 27 games, 21 of which have been starts. In two career appearances (1 start) against Washington, the right-hander has no record and a 1.29 ERA through seven innings.
The playoff-bound Nationals have stumbled a bit down the stretch, losing six of nine games, and are 4 1/2 games in front of Atlanta for the National League East lead with 10 to go.
Chien-Ming Wang drew the start for Washington on Sunday and allowed two runs in four innings for the no-decision. Ryan Mattheus gave up all three runs in the seventh to absorb the loss.
"I thought (Wang) threw the ball well. I didn't want to go too many pitches with him, but I was pleased with the way he threw," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said.
Jayson Werth and Chad Tracy both knocked in runs for the Nationals, whose magic number to clinch a division title is six.
Jordan Zimmermann looks to shave that number when he toes the rubber for the hosts in Monday's matinee. Zimmermann is 2-0 in his last three starts -- all Washington victories -- and tossed six innings of one-run ball in a 3-1 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday. He pushed his record to 11-8 in 30 starts and lowered his earned run average to 2.96.
Zimmermann defeated Milwaukee back on July 28 in a 4-1 win at Miller Park and limited the Brewers to a run in six innings. The righty was making his first appearance in this series and struck out six batters with only one walk.
The Nationals are 3-3 on a seven-game homestand and will visit Philadelphia and St. Louis later this week.
Washington is 4-3 this season against Milwaukee.