They have been eliminated from postseason contention, but the Milwaukee Brewers will try to finish the 2012 campaign on a high note when they entertain the San Diego Padres Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Miller Park.
Milwaukee has lost five of its last seven games and dropped two of three meetings to the lowly Houston Astros over the weekend. The Brewers were handed a 7-0 loss on Sunday, as Michael Fiers was touched for five runs and six hits in six innings. He did fan 10 batters and walked only one.
Aramis Ramirez, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez each singled for the Brewers, who were knocked out of the playoff race despite going 27-12 since Aug. 19.
"We were always realistic about getting back in the playoff race, but we never gave up," said Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "We were going to go out fighting."
Shaun Marcum gets the nod for Milwaukee tonight and ended a string of five straight no-decisions in last Wednesday's 8-1 pounding of Cincinnati. Marcum limited the Reds to a run in six innings to improve to 6-4 with a 3.74 earned run average in 20 starts.
Marcum looks to stay unbeaten in his career against the Padres and is 3-0 with a 3.51 ERA over four starts in this series.
San Diego has lost six of its last nine games and is playing out the string.
The Padres lost a three-game set versus San Francisco this past weekend and were handed a 7-5 setback in Sunday's finale. Huston Street allowed three runs in the top of the ninth to suffer the loss and starter Edinson Volquez threw four innings of two-run ball in the no-decision. Volquez left early because of an undisclosed injury.
"Some balls up out over the plate were driven. They didn't miss them," Padres manager Bud Black said of the Giants.
Logan Forsythe clubbed a two-run homer, while Chase Headley and Yasmani Grandal added solo shots for the Padres.
Padres left-hander Clayton Richard will try again to win a career-high 15 games when he takes the hill tonight. Richard was 5-0 in six starts -- all San Diego wins -- until he faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in last Wednesday's 8-2 loss. He permitted six runs, four of which were earned, and 10 hits in 3 2/3 frames to fall to 14-13 in 32 starts to go along with a 3.91 earned run average.
Richard is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in five career starts against Milwaukee.
San Diego and Milwaukee have split six meetings this season.