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National League Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, July 5th (All times Eastern)

Arizona Diamondbacks (46-40) at Milwaukee Brewers (45-41), 8:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Arizona - Zach Duke (1-3, 5.92) Milwaukee - Randy Wolf (6-5, 3.33)

(Sports Network) - When the bullpen needed a rest last week, Brewers starter Randy Wolf was able to gut out a seven-inning start to provide his relief mates with a needed breather.

With the 'pen now struggling, Wolf might be needed to eat up some innings again tonight.

The Milwaukee southpaw, coming off his first loss since mid-May, aims for a fifth straight victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the continuation of a three-game series at Miller Park.

Things didn't look good for the Brewers pitching staff last Thursday versus the Yankees after Wolf needed 36 pitches to get through the first inning. However, he grinded through another six frames in an eventual 5-0 loss, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks in his first defeat since May 17. The 34-year-old had won back-to-back starts and three straight decisions.

Wolf fell to 6-5 with a 3.33 earned run average in 17 starts this season, including 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in seven at home.

The veteran will make his 19th career start against Arizona and is 4-0 with a 4.19 ERA in his last six outings versus the club. Lifetime against the Diamondbacks, he is 10-3 with a 4.47 ERA.

Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke may need to stick with Wolf for as long as possible this evening after the Brewers blew a sizeable lead for a second straight game. They squandered a five-run edge at Minnesota on Sunday and took an early 6-1 lead in the fourth inning, fueled by starter Shaun Marcum's grand slam.

However, the Diamondbacks scored in each frame from the fourth inning on and rallied for an 8-6 victory on RBI singles in the ninth inning by Chris Young and Miguel Montero off Brewers closer John Axford.

"Axford was just out of whack," said Roenicke. "He wasn't himself today."

The could hold true for the entire bullpen as the Brewers lost for the sixth time in seven games and trail the Cardinals by a game for first place in the National League Central.

Playing a second straight game without All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun probably didn't help either. Braun is riding a career-best 22-game hitting streak, but his being bothered by a left calf strain that has his status for this game in doubt.

While Milwaukee won't rush Braun back, it could use his presence in the lineup as it tries to avoid losing consecutive home games for the first time this season. The Brewers are 29-12 at Miller Park this season.

Arizona, meanwhile, rallied from at least five runs down for the third time this season to earn just its third victory in nine games. The club is two games back of first-place San Francisco in the NL West.

Young has reached base safely in 15 straight games, while Wily Mo Pena hit a home run and Juan Miranda double twice and drove in two runs.

Arizona was well aware of Milwaukee's struggles on Sunday and took advantage to beat the club for just the fourth time in the last 12 meetings overall.

"A couple of the guys mentioned that Milwaukee had lost [Sunday] when they led 6-1, so we weren't down in the dugout," said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. "You keep grinding and you can't get discouraged."

Arizona has won six of its last seven at Miller Park and will look to get Zach Duke back into the win column this evening.

Duke hasn't won since his Arizona debut on May 28, when he threw seven scoreless innings at Houston. The lefty allowed five runs over his first three starts, but has been tagged for 20 over his past four outings for a 9.47 ERA. He gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks over five innings of a setback to Cleveland on Wednesday.

"I just didn't put the ball where I wanted to today," Duke said after falling to 1-3 with a 5.92 ERA in seven starts this year. "I'll have to be better next time."

The 28-year-old may find that tough against a Brewers club he is just 4-7 against lifetime in 17 starts with a 6.14 ERA.

07/05 10:27:41 ET

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