Brewers seek sweep of visiting Dodgers

The Brewers have been doing some incredible things at home this season, but they still have one more feat they would like to reach before hitting the road.

Set to wrap yet another successful stay at Miller Park, Milwaukee will try for its first ever sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of a four-game series this afternoon.

The Brewers have been able to plate just eight runs over the first three games of this set, but have held the Dodgers to only two. That has helped them extend their home winning streak to seven straight and they have also won 18 of their last 20 as the host to push their MLB-leading home record to 47-15.

Wednesday's meeting was yet another pitching duel between the clubs, but it was the Dodgers who blinked first after Jerry Hairston Jr. connected on a two- run single with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to key a 3-1 win. Milwaukee earned its seventh straight victory and 19th in 21 games overall and maintained a seven-game lead over the Cardinals for first place in the National League Central.

Zack Greinke turned in seven strong innings, allowing five hits and one run with three walks while fanning eight. John Axford worked a scoreless ninth to post his 36th save.

"The [earned run average] has been going down for quite a while now from the start of the year," noted Brewers manager Ron Roenicke of Greinke's key stat, which fell to 3.92. "It was really a good ballgame by him. His fastball was sharp again, and I thought he had a great slider and his breaking balls were really good."

The Dodgers came into this series having won five of their last six overall against the Brewers and eight of 10 at Miller Park, but are now in danger of being swept by the club in a series of at least three games for the first time. Last night's loss was also Los Angeles' seventh in 10 games overall.

Tony Gwynn had three hits and a solo homer for the Dodgers, who got six innings of two-run ball from hard-luck loser Nathan Eovaldi, his first in the majors.

"The kid's good, he's competitive too," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly of his starter. "These guys play hard and that's the one thing I'm most proud of. We're not the kind of club that realistically is going to run off a bunch of wins in a row."

As much praise as Eovaldi earned, Mattingly has to feel good about his starter today as he hopes to avoid the sweep. Clayton Kershaw has won six of his past seven starts and has a 1.53 ERA in that span, allowing two runs or less in each victory and striking out 55 over 53 innings.

The left-hander had a five-start winning streak end in Arizona on Aug. 7, but bounced back to beat the Astros on Saturday with eight innings of one-run ball. He worked around six hits and one walk, striking out nine to set a single-season career high for victories.

"Clayton is a great pitcher. I'm happy I don't have to face him," teammate Matt Kemp said. "We feel confident if we give him a couple of runs, it's going to hold up."

Kershaw is 14-5 with a 2.72 ERA in 25 games this season, but just 1-2 with a 6.23 ERA lifetime in four games versus the Brewers.

Marco Estrada will make his second start in place of the injured Chris Narveson as he tries to secure today's sweep.

Narveson's first outing in place of Narveson, and fifth start overall this season, came on Saturday versus the Pirates and he earned a victory. The right-hander gave up just one hit over five scoreless innings, striking out five without a walk. He'll look to go deeper this afternoon.

"He had thrown a lot of pitches and we will try to build him up from there," said Roenicke. "He did so well early in the season filling in and he's a real good choice for us so we'll keep him in the rotation for now."

The 28-year-old is 3-7 with a 4.46 ERA in 33 total games this season and will make the first start of his career against the Dodgers. He has yet to allow a run to them in five innings of relief.