MLB

Preview: Brewers vs. Marlins

MILWAUKEE -- The Miami Marlins will turn to Dan Straily on Sunday as they look to snap a four-game losing streak when they take on the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

Straily is just the man the Marlins want on the mound.

Acquired from the Reds in January, Straily's first season in South Florida has been solid. He's 5-4 with a 3.44 ERA in 16 starts this season but has been lights-out of late, posting a 1.56 ERA over his last three starts while striking out 18 in 17 1/3 innings of work during that stretch.

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) against the Brewers, including 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three games (two starts) at Milwaukee's Miller Park.

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The Brewers managed four home runs in 28 innings against Straily last season and he'll need to be on top of things Sunday against a lineup that leads the National League with 125 homers this season.

They've hit 17 in their last six contests, going 4-2 along the way, and enter Sunday atop the NL Central by three games over the second-place Chicago Cubs.

But while the offense is clicking, Milwaukee's bullpen has certainly stepped up its game of late. A combination of early-season struggles from the starting rotation and a high number of close games led to a painful stretch for the Brewers' relief corps, but they've turned things around the last few games and enter play Sunday having not allowed a run over their last eight innings and two in their last 13.

"I do think it's a function of the game to have kind of normalized over the last 10 days," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of his relievers. "Part of my belief is that we would come out of the stretch where we just played that game that we seemed to play for about three weeks every single night. But we're certainly in a better spot right now."

Right-hander Junior Guerra gets the start for Milwaukee, still trying to find the command that allowed him to enjoy a breakout rookie season a year ago.

He allowed a career-high eight earned runs last time out and tied his career high by giving up eight hits.

Overall, Guerra is 1-2 with a 4.54 ERA this season.

"The first couple of starts he pitched well," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Where he gets in trouble is when he struggles with his fastball control. He struggled with all of his pitches a little tonight. He paid for his mistakes."

Miami has mustered only six runs against the Brewers and nine during the four-game slide.

"Runs are tough to come by at certain points of the season and the pitcher across the way usually has a lot to do with it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. When they make quality pitches and get in good counts, hitting becomes more difficult."