When the Brewers and D-backs square off on Saturday for the sixth time in 2013, Milwaukee will be seeking its first win in the season series. Arizona has won the first five meetings by a combined 13 runs, giving the team its first five-game winning streak over the Brewers since 1998-99.
Kyle Lohse, who will take the mound for Milwaukee on Saturday night, pitched well enough for a win against the D-backs in his Brewers debut on April 5. In six innings, Lohse allowed just one run on five hits, striking out five and walking none. However, he received little help from his teammates in the Brewers' 3-1 loss.
It's been and up-and-down season for Lohse since that first game, but the 34-year-old right-hander has been solid of late. After taking the loss in four of five starts in May, Lohse has either won or left without a decision in each of his past eight outings. He recorded his fifth win of the season on Monday against the Reds, when he allowed three runs and scattered nine hits across 6 2/3 innings but did not record a strikeout.
Lohse's strategy is pitching to contact, and he doesn't always expect to fan many batters.
"Yeah, but not zero," Lohse said after his last start. "They were really swinging early in the count and I'm not going to be that guy to get them to swing at balls way out of the zone. ... I'm just up there trying to pound the zone and they took advantage a couple of times, but more times than not I was able to get a weak fly ball or a ground ball."
Much like Lohse, the D-backs' Randall Delgado, who will make his sixth start of the season on Saturday, limited the damage on the scoreboard while giving up a slew of hits his last time out. Delgado went six innings on Monday against the Dodgers, surrendering three runs on 11 hits.
Called up from Triple-A Reno on June 18 to join the rotation, Delgado enters Saturday with a 1-3 record and a 3.48 ERA as a starter this season. After allowing two runs in seven innings in his first start of the year, Delgado laid out his basic plan as a pitcher, which has been relatively successful even if his record isn't an indication.
"I just try to do my job every time they tell me," Delgado said. "I tried to keep it down in the zone and I think it worked, so I'll just try to keep it like that."
Brewers: Roenicke pleased with bullpen
In what has been a mostly rough season for Milwaukee, the bullpen stands out as a major positive. So when reliever Jim Henderson took the loss on Thursday night, manager Ron Roenicke wasn't too upset.
"It's going to happen," Roenicke said. "I don't expect every time we go out there that we're going to put up zeros."
Milwaukee's bullpen returned to form in Friday's 2-1 loss, as Brandon Kintzler, Michael Gonzalez and John Axford combined to allow just one hit in two scoreless innings. Collectively, the Brewers' relievers rank fifth in the Majors with a 3.01 ERA while holding opponents to a .232 average.
D-backs: Goldschmidt hot at dish
Paul Goldschmidt has been busy for the past week and a half, securing his status as a first-time All-Star.
The 25-year-old first baseman, who was voted into the Midsummer Classic by the players, extended his hit streak to nine games by going 1-for-2 with a walk on Friday against the Brewers. Goldschmidt also collected an RBI in the contest, giving him eight during the streak.
It also was his National League-leading 77th RBI on the year, which ranks third most in D-backs history before the All-Star break, with only Luis Gonzalez (86 in 2001) and Matt Williams (82 in 1999) driving in more runs in the first half of the season.
• A D-backs win Saturday would even the all-time series against the Brewers at 55-55.
• Goldschmidt's double in the sixth inning on Friday preserved the D-backs' Major League leading streak of 77 straight games with an extra-base hit.
• Only the Marlins have fewer road wins this season (14) than the Brewers, who are 15-29 away from Miller Park.
Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.