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Brewers look to salvage series split with Padres

May 31, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer (52) delivers against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

After consecutive shutout losses, the Milwaukee Brewers are looking to rediscover their offense and salvage a split against the visiting San Diego Padres on Sunday when they wrap up a four-game weekend series.

Milwaukee left-hander Eric Lauer (5-1, 2.49 ERA) will make his second career start against his former team. The Padres counter with right-hander Mike Clevinger (1-0, 3.21), who will make his first start since coming off the injured list.

The Padres recorded a 4-0 victory on Saturday, one day limiting Milwaukee to one hit in a 7-0 victory.

The Brewers rallied to win the opener 5-4 with four runs in the ninth inning off Padres closer Taylor Rogers.

Aside from that rally, which included two batters hit by pitches, the Brewers have scored just one other run in the 27 innings so far. It’s the first time Milwaukee has been shut out in consecutive games since early July 2019 at Cincinnati.

Rookie left-hander MacKenzie Gore dominated the Brewers on Saturday, allowing three singles and matching his career high with 10 strikeouts with three walks over six innings.

On Friday night, Kolten Wong got the Brewers only hit with a two-out double in the eighth inning off starter Joe Musgrove.

“We’ve to figure out a way to score and we’ve got to just have good at-bats,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ve faced two very good pitchers the last two days, but we’ve got to figure out a way to score. We’re a little bit banged up, but the guys that are out there, they have to play and they’re capable of putting up runs.”

Although often overshadowed by the front end of the Brewers rotation, Lauer leads the team in victories and has allowed 10 earned runs in 40 1/3 innings over his last seven starts.

Lauer went just four innings in his last start, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks, but did not get the decision in an 8-7 victory over the Cubs.

Lauer, who spent his first two seasons with San Diego, faced the Padres once last season, allowing one run in six innings.

Clevinger, who was sidelined with a right triceps strain, makes his first start since May 17. Clevinger, who missed all of 2021 after Tommy John surgery, has made three starts after opening the season on the injured list with a sprained knee.

In his last start, Clevinger allowed just one hit and no walks in five scoreless innings, his longest outing of the season.

With Milwaukee trailing the entire series, closer Josh Hader has been a non-factor. Hader has converted all 18 save opportunities this season and has not allowed a run.

San Diego manager Bob Melvin went back to Rogers on Saturday in a non-save situation.

“I wanted to be able to get a little bit of a different feel to where you come and you’ve got no room for error,” Melvin said. “I wanted him to walk off the mound in the ninth inning. He gets behind 3-0 (on the first hitter) and comes back and has a nice clean inning. All in all, I think it was an important outing for him, too.”

–Field Level Media