Milwaukee Brewers (73-63) at Chicago Cubs (61-76)
Monday, September 01 - 2:20 PM EST
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois
The Milwaukee Brewers have seen their lead atop the National League Central disappear but they'll try to maintain at least a share of first place when they open a three-game series at the Chicago Cubs on Monday. The Brewers have dropped five straight on their nine-game road trip to fall into a tie with St. Louis in the division. Milwaukee's offense has gone belly-up during its skid, producing a total of 11 runs -- and five of those came in a 15-5 beating at San Francisco on Sunday.
The Brewers absorbed a potentially devasting blow when center fielder and leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez had to exit Sunday's game with a left wrist injury, which manager Ron Roenicke said makes him doubtful for Monday's matchup. The Cubs unraveled over the final two contests in a four-game set with St. Louis, getting pounded 13-2 on Saturday and blowing a five-run lead in Sunday's 9-6 setback. Although Milwaukee has dominated Chicago, winning 50 of the last 68 meetings, it holds only a 7-6 edge in the season series.
TV: 2:20 p.m. ET, FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee), WGN (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Jimmy Nelson (2-5, 4.10 ERA) vs. Cubs RH Jacob Turner (4-8, 5.84)
Nelson is 0-3 during a four-start winless drought after allowing four runs (two earned) over five innings in a loss at San Diego on Tuesday. Although he has yielded two earned runs in three of his past four turns, Nelson is seeking his first victory since pitching seven innings of three-run ball to beat San Francisco on Aug. 5. He has done a good job of keeping the ball in the park, surrendering four homers over 52 2/3 innings.
Turner, who was acquired from Miami early last month, had a forgettable first start with the Cubs while lasting only 3 2/3 innings and giving up six runs (three earned) on Wednesday. Turner will be making his first career start at Wrigley Field -- he's allowed one run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings over two relief outings. He is 1-1 in four career appearances (three starts) against the Brewers with a 2.18 ERA.
1. Milwaukee acquired RHP Jonathan Broxton from Cincinnati on Sunday to bolster the back end of its bullpen.
2. Cubs LF Chris Coghlan has five RBIs in his last three games.
3. Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks needs two hits to reach 1,000 for his career.
PREDICTION: Brewers 7, Cubs 5