The Milwaukee Brewers can close out the season with a series win over the San Diego Padres Tuesday in the middle installment of a three-game set from Miller Park.
Milwaukee won Monday's opener, 5-3, behind three home runs from Rickie Weeks, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez. Shaun Marcum pitched well for the win and held the Padres to a pair of runs in six innings. John Axford then struck out three in a scoreless ninth for his 34th save.
"Shaun was mixing his pitches well, and that allowed him to get out of trouble," Lucroy said. "He had some trouble early on, but we were able to jump on (Padres starter Clayton) Richard."
The Brewers were eliminated from the playoffs versus Houston this weekend.
Ryan Braun finished 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, in which he's hitting .452 (19-of-42), and is second in the National League with 112 runs batted in. Padres third baseman Chase Headley leads the NL with 113 RBI.
Brewers rookie Tyler Thornburg draws the start tonight and has no record and a 5.00 earned run average in seven games (2 starts). Thornburg threw three innings of one-run ball in a 10-4 loss at Washington on Sept. 22 and the right-hander will face San Diego for the first time.
The Padres were once in contention in the wild card standings, but have since dropped off the pace.
Losers in five of six games, the Padres were dealt another defeat on Monday and Richard did his best to keep it interesting. The left-hander was tagged for five runs and 10 hits in seven innings and also homered at the plate.
"I just didn't execute, and it seemed like they jumped on anything I didn't execute," Richard said on the club's website. "They are a good hitting team."
Will Venable had three hits and a run scored and Yasmani Grandal went 2-for-3 with an RBI for San Diego.
Anthony Bass will take the mound for San Diego tonight and is 2-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games (14 starts). He previously toed the rubber in a 3-1 loss versus San Francisco and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Bass, a right-hander, faced the Brewers for the first time in his career on June 10 in a 6-5 setback at Miller Park and was dealt the loss for allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
The Brewers are 4-3 against the Padres this season.