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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, July 18th (All times eastern)

Milwaukee Brewers (51-45) at Arizona Diamondbacks (51-44), 9:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Randy Wolf (6-6, 3.65) Arizona - Josh Collmenter (4-5, 2.92)

(Sports Network) - Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder will make his return to Chase Field tonight less than a week after he captured MVP honors in the All-Star Game.

Arizona fans expressed their displeasure with Fielder, who did not select hometown favorite Justin Upton for the Home Run Derby, but turned those jeers into cheers when Fielder led the NL to victory with a three-run homer in a 5-1 triumph. D'Backs fans will most likely root against the bulky first baseman again Monday in the opener of a four-game series.

Fielder went 0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored in Milwaukee's 4-3 win at Colorado on Sunday, as the Brewers earned a split of a four-game set from Coors Field. Casey McGehee had two hits and two RBI, Mark Kotsay and George Kottaras each knocked in a run and Rickie Weeks ended with two hits and a run scored for Milwaukee, which has won six of nine games and is 2-2 on an 11-game road trip.

Brewers starter Shaun Marcum allowed two runs on four hits and three walks over five-plus innings while striking out four before leaving the game in the sixth with a neck strain. Relievers LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford held the Rockies to an unearned run the rest of the way, with Axford collecting his 25th save.

"I was just trying to make pitches," said Axford. "Whether it's a strikeout or getting a ground ball like I did there, I'm just trying to go after the next guy, mix it up, make them off balance. I think that was the biggest thing, I didn't want to put anything in there to let them bloop it over or pop something into the outfield."

Milwaukee All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun was not in the starting lineup because of a left calf strain that forced him out of Saturday's game. He pinch-hit in the ninth on Sunday and grounded out to end the inning. Braun is listed as day-to-day and missed the last eight games before the All-Star break. Mark Kotsay started in left field on Sunday and went 2-for-4.

The Brewers will also visit San Francisco for three games on this trek and sit a half-game ahead of both Pittsburgh and St. Louis for the NL Central lead. The Reds are 3 1/2 games off the pace.

Meanwhile, Randy Wolf lost to the Diamondbacks in a 7-3 setback on July 5 at Miller Park and looks for a measure of revenge tonight. Wolf was tagged for seven runs and 10 hits in six innings of work, but is still a decent 10-4 with a less-desirable 4.77 ERA in 19 career starts in this series.

Wolf did not record a decision in his most recent outing, a 4-3 win over Cincinnati at home on July 10. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in seven innings that day to remain at 6-6 in 19 starts, while lowering his earned run average to 3.65.

The veteran left-hander is 3-4 in 10 road assignments this season.

Arizona won two of three matchups with Los Angeles over the weekend to kick off a 10-game homestand and recorded a 4-1 win over the Dodgers in Sunday's series finale.

Starting pitcher Daniel Hudson was superb on the mound and at the plate, tossing a complete game with three strikeouts and no walks. He allowed one run and five hits and also finished with a home run and three RBI. Hudson had a solo homer in the sixth and a two-run single in the seventh inning.

"The guy pitches, the guy hits, they guy pitches into the ninth inning. He throws strong every time he is out," said Ryan Roberts, who also homered. "He has been phenomenal and swinging the bat has been a huge plus."

The Diamondbacks will also host Colorado on this residency and are 3 1/2 games behind San Francisco for NL West supremacy.

D'Backs rookie Josh Collmenter hasn't won since June 3 versus Washington and draws the start tonight. Collmenter is 0-4 in his previous six starts and did not record a decision in a 3-1 loss at Milwaukee on July 6, when he fired six shutout innings of three-hit ball. It was his first appearance against the Brewers.

Collmenter, a right-hander, remained at 4-5 on the season with a 2.92 ERA in 18 games (11 starts) and is coming off three straight road outings. He is 3-2 in eight games (4 starts) at home.

Arizona won two of three meetings with Milwaukee earlier this month at Miller Park, but the Brewers have won 10 of the past 17 contests in this series.

07/18 10:50:02 ET

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