SAN DIEGO -- Zach Davies gets his first August start on Tuesday, and he would be pleased if it duplicates his July efforts.
The Milwaukee Brewers right-hander faces San Diego, hoping his summer surge has life. Right-hander Luis Perdomo goes for the Padres at Petco Park.
Davies (8-4, 3.59 ERA) was sensational in July, starting four games, winning three and showing the Brewers why they have such high hopes for him. He pitched to a 1.71 ERA in the month, posting a nifty 17-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio as he leaned on his pinpoint control.
"He's a real pitcher," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He has four pitches, and he lives out on the edge with them. He speeds up their bats and slows them down."
Davies has impressed Counsell -- as well as the batters he has faced the past month.
"He's got those four pitches, and he can manipulate all four of them," Counsell said.
The Padres eventually hope to see similar results from Perdomo (5-4, 6.89 ERA). The 23-year-old had never pitched above Class A ball before this season. A Rule 5 draft pick out of the St. Louis Cardinals' system last winter, he was expected to have a long role out of the bullpen.
The Padres hoped to ease him into his role as a major league starter, but following a flurry of trades, Perdomo is being asked to accelerate his learning curve.
After San Diego nearly wiped the rotation clean by trading away James Shields, Drew Pomeranz and Andrew Cashner -- and with Tyson Ross sidelined due to a shoulder injury since his Opening Day start -- Perdomo's responsibilities blossomed.
So, too, has his pitching.
Perdomo has given up three earned runs or fewer in six of his past eight starts dating to June 15. Five outings in that span were quality starts. He won both of his past two starts, including a road victory over the Toronto Blue Jays last Wednesday, when he gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
In his prior start, Perdomo pitched a career-high seven innings and allowed just two runs on four hits in a road win against the Washington Nationals.
"We've seen tremendous gains in Perdomo," Padres manager Andy Green said. "When he made his major league debut (in) April, he was a Rule 5 draft pick who had never pitched above low Single-A. Now he's growing confidence that his pitches play in the major leagues. He can get outs with that very good sinker of his. He's making steps. The next step is ... to locate his pitches with consistency.
"It's there, he just has to keep developing it. There are going to be peaks and valleys, but we're seeing substantial strides forward."
The Brewers hope the lineup that faces Perdomo will include left fielder Ryan Braun. He hasn't played since Wednesday due to tightness in his right side.
Milwaukee's catching situation is also worth watching in the wake of trading Jonathan Lucroy, a two-time All-Star, to the Texas Rangers. Martin Maldonado was in the lineup on Monday, going 1-for-3 in the Brewers' 7-3 loss to the Padres, and he is expected to get his second consecutive start Tuesday.
However, Counsell said Manny Pina, who was brought up from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Monday, also will see action going forward.