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Jul 5, 2024 9:18 am

Division leaders square off as Brewers visit Dodgers

Jackson Chourio

While the Philadelphia Phillies are in control of the best record in the National League, the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers are in a race to avoid playing an extra round in the postseason.

The Dodgers and Brewers are separated by one game in the chase for the second- and third-best records in the NL. They get together for the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Milwaukee has held the lead in the NL Central since April 30 and holds a six-game advantage on the St. Louis Cardinals. Los Angeles had led the NL West every day since April 1 and holds a 6 1/2-game lead on the San Diego Padres.

Milwaukee is 8-3 since losing the first three games of a four-game series in San Diego on June 20-22. The Brewers lost a pair of one-run games and settled for a four-game split with the host Colorado Rockies when they went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position in Thursday’s 4-3 loss.

“There was a ton of opportunities tonight,” Milwaukee manager Pat Murphy said Thursday. “There were a couple of miscues defensively that cost us. It’s tough to have the intensity every night, but we do keep it close.”

The Brewers never led but tied the game on Jackson Chourio’s RBI double in the sixth. Chourio extended his hitting streak to 10 games and is batting .424 (14-for-33) in those games.

Los Angeles is coming off consecutive series losses to the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. After winning the first game against Arizona, the Dodgers were outscored 21-7 in the final two games and finished the series with a 9-3 loss on Thursday.

Enrique Hernandez had an RBI groundout and Austin Barnes hit a two-run single, but the Dodgers were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and struck out 12 times. Stars Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman were a combined 0-for-7 with six strikeouts.

After getting short outings from starters Gavin Stone and Landon Knack against Arizona, the Dodgers are hoping to get some length from Tyler Glasnow (8-5, 3.23 ERA).

“It’s going to be a big series,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said Thursday. “We’ve got our stable of guys ready with the victory formation. We need a good one out of Glas tomorrow.”

Glasnow has completed at least six innings 12 times this season but endured his shortest outing this season last Saturday. He was tagged for five runs on seven hits in three innings in a no-decision at San Francisco before the Dodgers scored seven times in the 11th for a 14-7 victory.

The right-hander is 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA in six career appearances (two starts) against the Brewers, whom he faced each time as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017 and 2018.

Glasnow will be opposed by Aaron Civale (2-6, 5.07), his teammate for the final two months of last season with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Civale, who is facing the Dodgers for the first time, was acquired from the Rays on Wednesday and will become Milwaukee’s 16th different starting pitcher this season. Civale is joining a rotation that has a 4.15 ERA, and for the entire pitching staff is 3.71, ranking fourth in the NL and ninth overall.

“Milwaukee is definitely known for their pitching,” Civale said. “They’re known for playing a good brand of baseball, which I’m excited to be a part of.”

Civale is 0-5 with a 5.79 ERA over his past 14 outings, though he allowed only two runs in 5 2/3 innings Saturday against the Washington Nationals.

–Field Level Media

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