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Capping the calendar: June's best and worst MLB pitchers
The MLB calendar flips to June and we look at which pitchers perform well in the third month of the schedule and which ones run out of gas in June.
Listed below are hurlers that have enjoyed a 2-to-1 or better success ratio in team starts the last three seasons during the month of June. On the flip side, we’ve also listed pitchers that struggle in June team starts, winning 33 percent or less of their efforts. To qualify pitchers must have made a minimum of 10 starts with at least one start each June over the last three years.
GOOD JUNE PITCHERS
Joe Blanton, Los Angeles Angels • 7-3
This might take a leap of faith to back the Angels right-hander who is on pace to have the worst year of career. If he’s going to help his team the rest of the season, giving up over 1.5 hits per innings pitched has to change immediately. Maybe turning the calendar will help.
Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox • 11-1
Buchholz begins this month after missing a start with irritation in his collarbone/AC joint. Otherwise, the Red Sox righty has done little wrong in 2013, as opposing batters are below the Mendoza Line (.200 batting average) against his tosses this year. The biggest difference is his ability to be focused for each start, which was not the case previously.
Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds • 10-4
Having returned from the DL on May 20, Cueto is expected to continue what was the start of a quality campaign. Being backed with a ballclub which can score runs helps, but the Dominican native hides the ball expertly with a lively two and four-seam fastballs and a quick biting slider. Confident hurler.
Ryan Dempster, Boston Red Sox • 11-3
The 36-year-old right-hander has struggled to find his pitch location, explaining his mediocre record. The fastball has lacked the tailing action of the past and left-handed batters are squaring up his tosses more often. It’s time for Dempster to start contributing for Boston.
R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays • 12-4
The dancing knuckleball has not been there for the Cy Young winner. Consistently, Dickey has not had the same dropping action from his knuckler as last year, which is why he’s been so prone to the long ball. The conundrum is exasperated by the fact this has not happened even when he changed speeds. It is time for Dickey to start earning his wages.
Jason Hammel, Baltimore Orioles • 11-5
In spite of a solid record this year, Hammel still has an ERA over 5.00. Where he’s been generally improved is more quality starts, but when Orioles starter has an “off day”, he is hammered. If the 6-foot-6 right-hander can maintain the same win percentage in June as in the past, manager Buck Showalter will take it.
Tommy Hanson, Arizona Diamondbacks • 12-2
Has been on the restricted list and on May 25 threw a five-inning, 75-pitch simulated game in Arizona and appears to be on the verge of rejoining the Angels' staff. With the Angels’ recent play; they would really like to have one of their main starters back to strengthen the rotation and the bullpen. Having Hanson put together another hot June would be a big plus.
Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians • 11-5
No longer the mid-to-upper 90’s pitcher from his Colorado days, Jimenez is a back of the rotation starter for Cleveland, capable of two or three solid outings in a row and then struggle with his complicated delivery and be tagged. Always the key for this 29 year old is not walking batters, since that is when things unravel.
Mat Latos, Cincinnati Reds • 12-4
Since arriving in Cincinnati, Latos has grown up and pitched with greater maturity. He is less bothered with mistakes and moves on to the next pitch instead of dwelling on what happened two batters ago. Could reach the next level as a pitcher if he develops a better plan for going through the lineup the third and fourth time.
Jon Niese, New York Mets • 13-4
Not having a very good season on a below average club, Niese has started to focus on himself. The lefty has developed bad mechanics, leaning to the side and forward in his delivery instead of being straight up. The Mets year is probably lost, but Niese can turn it around by doing what he does best with his drop-and-drive motion.
David Price, Tampa Bay Rays • 12-5
Price has been on the DL since May 15 with a left triceps strain in the midst of his worst professional season. Maybe the rest will help and the velocity will return for the current AL Cy Young winner. Hard to imagine Tampa Bay makes the playoffs without Price finishing the year strong when he returns.
C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees • 14-2
For really the first time, the Yankees big man is starting to show some mileage. Sabathia’s batting average allowed is on a pace for a career-worst and he is well ahead of surrendering the most home runs of his storied career (11 to this point; 22 HR is previous high). The fastball has lost a couple of miles per hour and his slurvy breaking pitches have not yet had the usual bite. Nonetheless, he’s still C.C. and chances are he will figure out how to win more games.
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers • 14-3
After a couple of domineering years, Detroit’s ace has been ordinary by his standards in 2013. Verlander is permitting a hit an inning, something he has not done since his breakout year in 2006. His past suggests he could return to his usual productive ways at any moment and this is typically a sendoff point for him.
Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels • 8-4
The tall, lanky Halos hurler is back from a broken left elbow and is expected to do what he throughout his career, win nearly two out three decisions (102-53 record). This premier starter works all four corners of the strike zone like a surgeon.
C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels • 14-1
Interesting to note there are four Anaheim starters on this list, thus if history is a predictor of the future, the Halos could have a monster June. A little hesitant at first being an ace when Weaver was injured, the left-hander looked more comfortable as time wore on and at least looked the part. Has owned this month.
BAD JUNE PITCHERS
Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals • 3-10
After setting a Kansas City franchise-record with 17 consecutive starts without a loss, Guthrie was roughed up the latter part of May and seen his ERA begin to return to career norms. Unless the Royals offense displays the ability to score like they did in sharp 17-10 start to the season, it is going to be difficult to back Guthrie.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies • 5-12
The Phillies’ left-hander has already lost more games (8) than all of last season (6). After a rocky start, Hamels’ ERA has been in the mid-four’s since late April and though run support has been an issue from time to time, his yo-yo performances have made a bad situation worse. Hamels’ unusually high ERA at home (5.35) is what has really hurt him and finishing above .500 could be quite a task.
Justin Masterson, Cleveland Indians • 5-10
Playing on his best team since joining Cleveland, Masterson is trending positively. The Jamaican-born sidearm pitcher is at career-lows in batting average allowed and WHIP and if he can surpass the problems he’s endured in past June’s, he is setting himself up for a fine campaign.
Brian Matusz, Baltimore Orioles • 4-13
Has only been used in relief by Baltimore this season and appears to have found a niche as a non-starter.
Ricky Nolasco, Miami Marlins • 5-12
The Corona, CA native is statistically having his best year since 2007, when he was 15-8 with a 3.52 ERA. Unfortunately, Nolasco can’t be expected to come close to matching the same win total, playing for an abysmal Marlins outfit. He has to be considered prime acquisition material for a contender before the season heads too much further down the road.
Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers • 5-10
Unlike Nolasco, Sanchez has been saved from Miami, pitching for Detroit. More comfortable in his first full season in MoTown, Sanchez’s 5-4 record does not indicate how well he thrown for the Tigers. His previous negative numbers figure to be in the past with a championship contender.
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
The Saturday baseball card showcases five terrific night matchups that will be televised regionally on FOX. The Cubs look to stay hot against the Diamondbacks, while the Cardinals and Giants hook up at Busch Stadium. We'll begin in the Bronx with the league's biggest rivalry on center stage, as the Red Sox and Yankees play for first in the AL East.
Red Sox at Yankees - 7:15 PM EST
Starting pitchers: Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29 ERA), Phil Hughes (2-3, 4.97 ERA)
Season series: Tied at 2-2, as all four meetings took place in the Bronx. The 'over' is 2-2, with the Sox averaging 7.5 runs in the two victories, but the Yankees rebounded on Friday with a 4-1 triumph.
Last 10 overall: Boston 6-4, New York 3-7
Last 10 totals: Boston 5-3-2 to 'over,' New York 5-4-1 to 'under'
What to know: Yankees have scored three runs or less in four of the last six games. The Red Sox have won seven of their previous 11 road contests.
Giants at Cardinals - 7:15 PM EST
Starting pitchers: Madison Bumgarner (4-3, 3.12 ERA), Adam Wainwright (7-3, 2.48 ERA)
Season series: St. Louis, 2-1, as the Cardinals won the final two matchups at AT&T Park in early April. The Cards won two of three at Busch Stadium in last season's NLCS against the Giants, but San Francisco grabbed the final three games en route to a World Series title.
Last 10 overall: San Francisco 5-5, St. Louis 7-3
Last 10 totals: San Francisco 5-4-1 to 'under,' St. Louis 4-4-2 to 'over'
What to know: Giants have struggled on the road recently by dropping seven of the last eight away from AT&T Park. The Cardinals own a 7-2 record the previous nine Game 2's of a series, while splitting six games as a home favorite of -130 or less.
Reds at Pirates - 7:15 PM EST
Starting pitchers: Mike Leake (4-2, 3.02 ERA), Francisco Liriano (3-1, 2.35 ERA)
Season series: Pirates, 3-1, as Pittsburgh swept a three-game set at PNC Park in mid-April. Reds had an opportunity to avoid sweep in finale, building a 5-0 lead. However, Pirates scored 10 runs in the seventh and eight innings combined to pull off the first home sweep of the Reds since 2010. Cincinnati blanked Pittsburgh in the series opener on Friday, 4-0.
Last 10 overall: Cincinnati 7-3, Pittsburgh 8-2
Last 10 totals: Cincinnati 6-4 to 'under,' Pittsburgh 6-4 to 'under'
What to know: The Reds are just 2-5 the last seven games against left-hander starting pitching, while the Pirates have taken nine of the previous 12 contests within their division.
Season series: Braves, 5-3, as Atlanta grabbed the first five meetings this season. The two division rivals split a four-game set at Turner Field in late April/early May, as the Nationals held the Braves to a combined one run in two victories to get the split. Washington has currently won three straight against Atlanta, including a 3-2 nail-biter on Friday.
Last 10 overall: Washington 5-5, Atlanta 7-3
Last 10 totals: Washington 6-3-1 to the 'over,' Atlanta 6-4 to the 'over'
What to know: The Nationals have stumbled as a road underdog with only one victory in their last nine opportunities, while the Braves have compiled a solid 8-1 record the previous nine as a home favorite.
Diamondbacks at Cubs - 7:15 PM EST
Starting pitchers: Ian Kennedy (2-3, 4.70 ERA), Jeff Samardzija (3-6, 2.85 ERA)
Season series: Cubs won first meeting on Friday at Wrigley Field, 7-2, as the game finished 'under' the total of 11. Chicago has now taken each of the last four matchups with Arizona on the North Side.
Last 10 overall: Arizona 5-5, Chicago 5-5
Last 10 totals: Arizona 6-4 to the 'under,' Chicago 4-4-2 to the 'over'
What to know: The Diamondbacks bounce back nicely in Game 2's of a series on the road, posting a 4-1 record the last five games. The Cubs are playing well at the Friendly Confines of late with six wins in their past nine cont
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
Preview: Rays (30-24) at Indians (29-25)
Venue: Progressive Field
Date: June 01, 2013 1:05 PM EDT
Fewer than 12 hours after the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians completed their series opener, both hope the weather will cooperate when they take the field again.
The visiting Rays look for a season-high seventh consecutive victory Saturday against the Indians.
After three rain delays totaling 4 hours, 49 minutes, Tampa Bay (30-24) recorded the final out of its 9-2 victory over Cleveland at 2:53 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday.
With the forecast for this 1:05 p.m. start as well as Sunday's contest calling for more heavy rain, the umpires felt the Friday contest would provide the best chance of completing at least one game in the set.
"It's a very awkward way to do this," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "But if you're going to stick around that long you might as well win.'
James Loney homered twice, Matt Joyce added a two-run shot and four pitchers combined on a one-hitter for the Rays, who have won 16 of 22 and went an AL-best 18-10 in May.
Tampa Bay has averaged 7.0 runs during the six-game winning streak.
Joyce has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .359 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in his last 11. Loney, hitting .331, has three of his seven home runs in the last two contests.
Chris Archer will make his season debut Saturday for the Rays against the team that selected him in the 2006 draft. The right-hander never pitched for the Indians and was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2008, then to Tampa Bay as part of the Matt Garza deal in 2011.
"This does add a little extra, but it's not super over-the-top or anything," Archer told the Rays' official website of facing Cleveland. "I know there are some coaches in the Indians organization who always want to see me succeed and do well, so to come up here and play in front of them is going to be pretty cool."
Archer made his major league debut last season when he went 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA in six games - four starts - for the Rays. He was 5-3 with a 3.96 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A Durham this year.
"It really comes down to throwing your fastball for a strike," Maddon said. "He has a really good breaking ball, slider, a really good changeup. Physically, he can compete here. Mentally, he can compete here. His pitch ability needs to increase a little bit."
He'll face a Cleveland team that has lost eight of 11 and managed only Ryan Raburn's RBI double Friday. The Indians (29-25) totaled 12 runs and 20 hits in two straight home wins over Cincinnati.
Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3, 5.57 ERA) has gone 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA in his last three starts, but has allowed two runs each time in two of those. The most recent time was Monday, when he gave up four hits in seven innings and didn't get a decision in a 4-2 road loss to the Reds.
"I was trying to go after hitters and that's what I did,' said Jimenez, who allowed a leadoff homer to former teammate Shin-Soo Choo.
The right-hander has gone 2-1 with a 3.93 ERA in three starts against the Rays.
Preview: Mariners (24-31) at Twins (23-29)
Venue: Target Field
Date: June 01, 2013 1:10 PM EDT
It's been nearly a month since the Seattle Mariners won three in a row.
They could change Saturday at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins if Aaron Harang delivers like he did earlier this week.
After dropping a season-high eight straight, Seattle (24-31) won four of six to close out May. Friday's 3-0 series-opening victory was the Mariners' ninth win in 10 games against the Twins (23-29).
Winner of eight of 11 in Minneapolis, Seattle will go for its first 3-0 stretch since May 1-4 with Harang (2-5, 6.51 ERA) coming off one of the best starts of his career. The right-hander threw a four-hitter with a season-best eight strikeouts in Monday's 9-0 home win over San Diego for his first shutout and complete game since 2009.
"The big thing was coming out and pounding the strike zone and getting ahead in the count," he said.
Harang's only start against the Twins came during his 2002 rookie season with Oakland.
Kevin Correia (5-4, 3.96) will get the ball for Minnesota, which had its four-game winning streak snapped Friday. The club was on a 5-1 run after dropping a season-high 10 straight.
Correia had an encouraging start his last time out, throwing six innings of three-run ball - all on solo homers - in Monday's 6-3 win at Milwaukee to avoid a third consecutive losing start.
"I was kind of off in the first,' he said after escaping a bases-loaded, no out jam. "... I felt great the rest of the game.'
The right-hander, though, didn't have a great May, finishing 2-3 with a 6.26 ERA after going 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in five April starts.
Correia is 0-1 with a 3.21 ERA in two starts versus Seattle, with the last coming in 2010 while with San Diego.
He can expect to face Kendrys Morales for the first time. Morales has homered in back-to-back games and is batting .417 (20 for 48) with 14 RBIs in the last 11 contests.
"He's been phenomenal the last couple of weeks," said Kyle Seager, who scored on Morales' two-run homer Friday.
Morales has started at first base the last six games in place of the injured Justin Smoak (strained right oblique), who likely won't return to the lineup until Sunday at the earliest.
Michael Morse's availability this weekend is also in question. Morse, the team leader with 11 homers, has missed three games with a quad injury.
Raul Ibanez is 4 for 7 with a homer off Correia.
Ryan Doumit, who finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts Friday, has 10 hits in 29 at_bats against Harang, including three homers and two doubles.
A victory for the Mariners would give them their fourth consecutive series win at Minnesota.
Preview: Tigers (29-24) at Orioles (31-24)
Venue: Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Date: June 01, 2013 4:05 PM EDT
Justin Verlander isn't happy with his recent performances.
Facing the Baltimore Orioles, especially at Camden Yards, would seem to be an ideal way to change his mood.
The Detroit Tigers ace will try to continue his dominance of the surging Orioles on Saturday.
Verlander (6-4, 3.68 ERA) is 2-2 with an ugly 8.69 ERA in his last four starts after going 4-2 with a 1.55 ERA in his first seven.
"I expect the bar to be high," said Verlander, the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner. "That's where I set it for myself."
The right-hander's performances have drawn sharp criticism lately, but he was better Monday, collecting a season-high 13 strikeouts while yielding three runs in seven innings of a 6-5 win over Pittsburgh.
Still, Verlander wasn't satisfied.
"Better? Yes. Where I want it? No," he said. "You have a couple bad starts, and the world's on your shoulder - 'What's wrong? What's wrong?' - but hey, that comes with the territory. I'm OK with that. I can deal with it."
Nothing has been wrong when Verlander faces the Orioles (31-24). He's 7-0 with a 2.85 ERA in 11 career starts against them, going 5-0 with a 2.05 ERA in six at Baltimore.
The Orioles, however, have won eight of 11 and are looking to match their season-high four-game winning streak set May 4-8.
That seemed unlikely after they trailed by two in the ninth inning of Friday's series opener, but Chris Dickerson capped a four-run rally with a three-run homer in a stirring 7-5 win.
It was the second time in the last three games that Baltimore used a big inning to rally for a victory.
"It's an amazing feeling, just to contribute in such a big situation," Dickerson said. "This team just claws back every single time. I'm just so happy I could cap it off for them."
The Tigers (29-24) matched a season high with their fourth straight loss.
``We obviously let one get away,' manager Jim Leyland said.
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones is hitting .349 with five homers, 11 runs and seven RBIs over the past 10 games. He had three hits, including a two-run shot Friday, giving him a .467 average with seven RBIs and 11 runs in his last eight home meetings with Detroit.
Jones, though, is 1 for 21 with seven strikeouts versus Verlander.
Jason Hammel (7-2, 4.98) starts for Baltimore looking to match his win total from all of last year.
The right-hander has rebounded from a dismal stretch by winning his last two starts, allowing four runs in 14 2-3 innings. His latest performance was his best of the year, as he limited Washington to two runs over eight innings and struck out a season-high eight in a 6-2 win Monday.
"For the year, definitely the best start," Hammel said. "It was all because of the fastball command."
Hammel is facing the Tigers for the first time since July 13, when a knee injury forced him to exit in the fourth inning of a 7-2 home loss. He needed arthroscopic surgery, and didn't return until September.
He's won two of his last three starts versus Detroit despite a 5.28 ERA.
Miguel Cabrera - 4 for 10 off Hammel - hit his 16th home run Friday, leaving him three behind Baltimore's Chris Davis for the major league lead.
Cabrera leads the majors with a .372 average and 61 RBIs and is batting .457 with five homers and 10 RBIs in his last nine visits to Camden Yards.
Preview: White Sox (24-28) at Athletics (32-24)
Venue: O.co Coliseum
Date: June 01, 2013 4:05 PM EDT
While the Oakland Athletics continue to surge, the Chicago White Sox have not won since moving back to .500 last weekend.
The A's look to extend their home winning streak to seven games while trying to hand the White Sox a fifth consecutive defeat Saturday.
Bartolo Colon tossed a five-hitter and Josh Reddick came off the disabled list to deliver a tiebreaking double as Oakland (32-24) scored all its runs in the eighth inning for a 3-0 win over Chicago on Friday. Coco Crisp added a two-run single to help the A's win for the 12th time in 14 games.
Oakland has not won seven straight at home since a 10-game run Aug. 11-Sept. 1, 2006.
Reddick, on the DL since May 8 with a sprained wrist, hit the second of consecutive doubles in the eighth inning. The A's managed two hits through seven before recording three in the eighth.
After setting career highs with 32 homers and 85 RBIs for the A's last season, Reddick was batting .158 with a home run and 15 RBIs in 30 games this year. He simply wants to contribute as much as he can and help Oakland continue its current success.
"I just hope I don't screw anything up,' he said. "Those guys have done a heck of a job without me, on the DL and with me not playing and producing. I just hope I can come in here and jump on this train and keep it going. Not necessarily driving it, just jump on the back cart and keep it going.'
Crisp, meanwhile, has hit .349 (15 for 43) with eight RBIs in 11 games to raise his average from .257 to .283.
Scheduled Oakland starter Dan Straily (3-2, 5.08 ERA) was 0-2 with an 8.84 ERA in his first previous four starts, but has allowed a run and six hits over 13 innings to win two in a row. He gave up that run and four hits over six in Monday's 4-1 victory over San Francisco.
"I worked a lot quicker. Really, that's the pitcher I am,' he said. "I was finally able to break through that and be myself - work quick, fill up the strike zone.
"I've always said I'm a strike thrower and not a strikeout pitcher. That's what I truly believe.'
This will be the right-hander's first appearance against the White Sox (24-28), who have been outscored 27-6 and shut out twice while dropping four straight since reaching .500 for the first time since April 10.
``It seems like it's kind of been a theme this year - our pitching's kept us in pretty much every ballgame except a few all year, and we're just not able to get anything going offensively,' Adam Dunn said. ``We've got to find a way to get on base somehow, someway and start creating things.'
Right fielder Alex Rios is 2 for 23 in six contests since he batted .375 during an 18-game hitting streak.
Chicago's Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.75) takes the mound after he allowed four runs for the second time in three starts. On Monday, he lasted six innings as his teammates managed two hits during a 7-0 loss to the Cubs.
The left-hander gave up six hits and struck out 14 over 13 2-3 scoreless innings to go 1-0 in his first two road starts of 2013, but has yielded 11 runs and 20 hits over 16 2-3 frames while not factoring in the decision of his last three away from home.
Quintana has never faced Oakland, which has won eight of 12 at home from the White Sox.
Preview: Royals (22-30) at Rangers (34-20)
Venue: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Date: June 01, 2013 4:05 PM EDT
The Texas Rangers appear to be back on track offensively. Staying that way could prove to be a challenge against one of the toughest starters in the league.
The AL West-leading Rangers try for their third straight win and fourth in a row at home when they face James Shields and the road-weary Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Since totaling 10 runs during a three-game losing streak, Texas (34-20) has scored 16 in the past two contests.
Nelson Cruz hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the third inning of Friday's 7-2 win over the Royals (22-30), who had played until 3:14 a.m. Central Time at St. Louis a night earlier.
"The offense is going to do their part as long as I do mine,' winning pitcher Derek Holland said. "And our guys came back and did what they're capable of doing, get some runs.'
Adrian Beltre went 4 for 4 with his 11th homer and is hitting .413 with five homers and 16 RBIs in his past 18 games. The third baseman, however, is 9 for 39 (.231) with 17 strikeouts against Shields (2-6, 2.96 ERA), though four of his hits in the matchup went for extra bases.
Shields has lost four straight starts, receiving seven runs of support in that span. The right-hander posted a 2.35 ERA in the first three losses before turning in his worst outing of the season Monday, allowing six runs and five walks in six innings of a 6-3 defeat to St. Louis.
The Royals have scored three or fewer runs for him in nine of his 11 starts.
"I don't care about run support,' Shields said after his latest start. "I care about my pitching. I didn't do my job and it resulted in an `L'.'
Shields is 7-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rangers. He's given up one run in 16 innings while striking out 16 over his last two matchups, going 1-1.
He has handled Texas hitters Cruz (2 for 11), Mitch Moreland (2 for 17), David Murphy (4 for 21) and A.J. Pierzynski (7 for 33).
Elvis Andrus, however, is 11 for 23 with four extra-base hits off of Shields.
The Rangers' Nick Tepesch (3-4, 3.88) will make his first career start against the Royals. Since allowing 11 runs over 10 2-3 innings in losing back-to-back starts, Tepesch has gone 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in three outings.
He yielded two runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3, 13-inning loss at Seattle on Sunday.
Tepesch will be facing a Kansas City team that's averaged 2.2 runs while losing nine of 10.
"That's part of the reason we've been struggling a little bit," manager Ned Yost said.
Alex Gordon, the team's leading hitter at .329, went 0 for 4 in the opener and is batting .206 with one extra-base hit over his last nine games.
Preview: Brewers (20-33) at Phillies (26-29)
Venue: Citizens Bank Park
Date: June 01, 2013 4:05 PM EDT
After ending a rough May on a positive note, the Milwaukee Brewers hope for better things as the calendar turns.
The Brewers look to open June by winning two straight for the first time in a month Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy went 5 for 5 with two home runs and four RBIs to help Milwaukee (20-33) snap a season-high six-game skid with an 8-5 win at Philadelphia on Friday. Yuniesky Betancourt added three hits as the Brewers rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to conclude a month they'd like to forget.
Milwaukee's 6-22 mark in May ties the Seattle Pilots - in August 1969 of their lone season before becoming the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970 - for the worst month in the history of the franchise.
"We've had problems this month?' joked Brewers manager Ron Roenicke. "Yes, it was a big win.'
However, with a hard-fought victory under their belts and the beginning of a new month, the Brewers should feel confident while trying to win back-to-back games for the first time since April 29-30.
"It's been tough but the guys are still battling,' winning pitcher Yovani Gallardo said.
Gallardo settled down after allowing a three-run, first-inning homer to Domonic Brown and helped hand Philadelphia (26-29) its fourth loss in six games.
Lucroy is batting .424 (14 for 33) in nine games to raise his average from .208 to .253. He's 8 for 12 in his last three against the Phillies.
Milwaukee's Wily Peralta (3-6, 6.35 ERA) looks to avoid a fifth consecutive losing start when he takes the mound Saturday. The right-hander, who has an 8.15 ERA in his last four outings, allowed four runs and walked a career-high five in five innings of a 6-3 loss to Minnesota on Monday.
Saddled with lofty expectations after going 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in September, Peralta ranks among the major league leaders with 48 runs allowed and could soon find himself out of Milwaukee's rotation if he doesn't turn things around.
"He's got a tremendous upside, but he's got to be confident when he's doing this,' Roenicke said. "How do you get a guy confident? It comes with success. Right now, he's not that guy.'
This will be Peralta's first appearance against the Phillies, who have dropped two in a row since again moving within a game of .500.
Brown, who also homered in the sixth inning, ended May by hitting 12 of his team-leading 15 home runs and driving in 25 runs in 28 games. Six of the eight hits in his last 20 at_bats have left the park.
He's 5 for 8 with eight RBIs in his last two games against the Brewers.
Scheduled Philadelphia starter Tyler Cloyd (1-1, 5.74) allowed two runs in each of his first two starts this season but was tagged for six and nine hits, including two homers, in 2 1-3 innings of a 9-3 loss at Boston on Monday.
"The ball was up. I couldn't get it down in the zone,' the right-hander said. "It had good movement, but it's hard when it's up a lot.'
Cloyd will be making his first home start of 2013 and first ever against the Brewers.