National League Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, May 29th (All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (20-28) at Los Angeles Dodgers (32-16), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Michael Fiers (0-0, 0.00) Los Angeles - Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, 0.00)
(Sports Network) - While the Brewers continue to lose player after player to injury, the MLB-leading Dodgers are expected to get a big piece back in their lineup this evening.
Matt Kemp is expected to return to action for Los Angeles in the second contest of this four-game series, giving the Dodgers a bat that looked like an MVP lock in April.
The 27-year-old Kemp dominated the league through April, hitting .417 with 12 homers and 25 RBI in 23 games during the month. He slowed down in a big way in May, battling a strained left hamstring while batting just .212 without a homer in 11 contests.
His hamstring finally forced him to the disabled list after his last game on May 13, ending his string of 399 consecutive games played.
Kemp flashed his April form in two rehab games with Triple-A Albuquerque over the weekend, homering in both games while going a combined 5-for-7 with five RBI.
That is great news for the Dodgers, who went 9-5 without Kemp and still lead baseball with a 32-16 record. They own a 6 1/2-game lead over the Giants for first place in the National League West as other players stepped up in Kemp's absence.
"It's why you call it a team, right?" said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "I'm assuming Matt's going to be ready to go (Tuesday). We've kind of survived this 15-day period and there's a lot of baseball to be played. We know there's a long way to go and it doesn't mean anything other than we're a little bit stronger now."
Kemp will look to get the Dodgers back into the win column after dropping Monday's opener 3-2.
Shaun Marcum allowed a run over seven innings while striking out nine for the Brewers and Aramis Ramirez homered and drove in two runs after sitting out the past two games due to an elbow injury.
"When he was really good last year for all that time this is what he did," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said about Marcum. "He gets the hitters thinking offspeed and he throws a fastball by them, and his location was great."
Rickie Weeks also had an RBI for the Brewers, who snapped a two-game slide.
The Brewers also won two of three over the Dodgers at home from April 17-19, giving them a win in six of the past eight encounters overall.
Aaron Harang gave up three runs -- one earned -- on four hits and three walks in five-plus innings to suffer the loss. Andre Ethier and Jerry Hairston Jr. each had two hits and an RBI for Los Angeles, which had won its previous two games.
While Kemp returns for the Dodgers, the Brewers lost catcher Jonathan Lucroy for the next 4-to-6 weeks due to a fractured right hand suffered when his wife accidentally dropped a suitcase on his hand in their Los Angeles hotel room on Sunday night.
"It obviously hurts our team a lot, but I feel really bad for him too. He's having some kind of incredible year so far," Roenicke said of losing Lucroy, who leads the Brewers with a .345 average in addition to five homers and 30 RBI.
Lucroy joins a Milwaukee disabled list that includes Chris Narveson, Marco Estrada, Alex Gonzalez and Travis Ishikawa among others.
Michael Fiers will make the first start of his MLB career and third overall appearance tonight for the Brewers in place of Estrada, who hit the DL due to a strained quadriceps.
The right-handed Fiers appeared in two games out of the bullpen in September of last season and did not allow a run over two innings despite issuing three walks and allowing two hits.
The 26-year-old is 1-3 with a 4.42 earned run average in 10 starts with Triple-A Nashville this season and has struck out 370 to just 91 walks in 346 2/3 career minor league innings.
The Dodgers will also need to replace an injured starter tonight with Ted Lilly on the DL due to a shoulder issue. Nathan Eovaldi will make the jump from Double-A Chattanooga to make his season debut.
The 22-year-old righty went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in 10 games last year, including six starts. One of those came against the Brewers on Aug. 17 and he took the loss despite allowing two runs over six innings on five hits and three walks.
05/29 10:38:20 ET