The AL West-leading Texas Rangers have earned the majority of their season-high eight straight wins against sub-.500 teams.
That string of lackluster opponents isn't ending any time soon.
After winning two of three at Oakland, Texas (69-50) concluded its road trip by sweeping the Los Angeles Angels and last-place Houston. Yu Darvish took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in a 2-1 victory over the Astros on Monday, helping the club maintain its one-game division lead over the A's.
The Rangers, winners in 13 of 14, will face six more teams with losing records until visiting the A's from Sept. 2-4. Milwaukee (51-67) is the next of those opponents, but it enters this two-game series having won five of eight.
The Brewers had 20 runs and 27 hits in their first two games in Seattle before falling 2-0 in Sunday's finale against Felix Hernandez . They're expected to get some help Tuesday, though, as Ramirez returns from a sprained left knee.
The third baseman was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season July 8 because of that ailment. The Brewers wanted Ramirez to go on a rehab assignment, but with the club wrapping up a nine-game road trip, he declined - just as he did upon returning in May.
Ramirez is expected to bat cleanup and serve as the designated hitter in one of the games against Texas and start at third base in the other.
"I know he's been out a long time and it's probably not ideal (to immediately have Ramirez bat cleanup)," manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers' official website. "It's not ideal that he doesn't go out on rehab, either. But, sometimes, that's what we do."
The Rangers haven't won nine straight since a 12-game run July 4-19, 2011, and they're also seeking a season-high fifth consecutive home win as they send Alexi Ogando (5-3, 3.28 ERA) to the mound.
The right-hander hasn't pitched past the fifth inning in four outings since returning from a seven-week absence with to inflammation in his pitching shoulder. Ogando, however, was perhaps the sharpest he's been since returning Wednesday in Anaheim, giving up two runs and four hits over five in a 10-3 rout of the Angels that was his first win since May 15.
"I thought Ogando progressed," manager Ron Washington told the team's official website. "Tonight was a step forward."
Ogando is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three home starts this season.
Marco Estrada (4-4, 4.96) made his return from a strained left hamstring in a 6-1 win in San Francisco on Wednesday. He held the Giants to one hit over five innings, fanning six before the Brewers' offense turned it on late in a 6-1 win.
"Obviously, I was very excited. It was great to be out there again. It's been a long time," he told the team's official website after his first start since June 3.
Estrada has been quite good outside of Milwaukee. He has a 3.07 ERA in seven road starts - his home ERA is 7.71 - and his opponents' road OPS of .603 is among the best in baseball.
The teams split two games at Miller Park from May 7-8. The Rangers have won five of eight overall meetings since the Brewers left the AL after the 1997 season.
|August 08, 2013||Rickie Weeks||15-Day DL||Left hamstring surgery - out for season|
|August 02, 2013||Tom Gorzelanny||Day-to-Day||Left elbow contusion|
|July 31, 2013||Yovani Gallardo||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 30, 2013||Yovani Gallardo||Day-to-Day||Left hamstring tightness|
|July 27, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right forearm tightness|
|July 23, 2013||Donovan Hand||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|August 03, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Lower body|
|July 12, 2013||Justin Grimm||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right forearm|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 07, 2013||Yu Darvish||15-Day DL||Upper back strain|
|July 07, 2013||Lance Berkman||15-Day DL||Left hip inflammation|
|July 06, 2013||Nick Tepesch||15-Day DL||Right elbow inflammation|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- When Scooter Gennett got to the Milwaukee Brewers dugout, his teammates ignored him for more than 20 seconds before finally acknowledging his first home run.
There was no silent treatment when the rookie second baseman homered again. They instead held their hands high in the air and made him jump to slam them.
"The silent treatment, it was actually a really good one. It's all fun, it's always good to give a few people some laughs," Gennett said after the Brewers' 5-1 victory at Texas.
"The second one, I got a lower body lift in there on that one. They always hold their hands up right high so I jump and get them."
Behind Gennett's two homers, a solo shot by fellow rookie Khris Davis and six solid innings by starter Marco Estrada , Milwaukee snapped the eight-game winning streak by the Rangers that had been the longest in the majors.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had a better reception for Gennett that broke a 1-all tie.
"I wasn't going to dog him the second time," Roenicke said.
Davis' homer in the seventh ricocheted high off the left-field pole, making it 4-1 and chasing Alexi Ogando (5-4).
Estrada (5-4) allowed one run and four hits against AL West-leading Texas, which was coming off its first 9-1 trip in team history.
"I don't think we were out of sorts. I think you've got to give Estrada credit," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. " He kept us off-balance. We had some chances against him to make a difference, but we didn't, and then his bullpen came in and did the rest."
Jim Henderson , the fourth Brewers reliever, came on to retire Ian Kinsler on an inning-ending soft liner with the bases loaded in the eighth. The right-hander also worked the ninth for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Gennett, a 23-year-old rookie second baseman listed at 157 pounds and playing only his 26th major league game, led off the third pulling a ball into the second deck of seats in right field.
The Brewers' No. 9 batter, who says he weighs closer to 170 pounds, then hit a two-run homer that landed in the seats under that for a 3-1 lead in the fifth. He has four homers this season.
"It's a little off," Gennett said of his listed weight. "For some reason they like to make the smaller guys look even smaller."
Ogando allowed four runs and six hits while working more than five innings for the first time in his five starts since coming off the disabled list because of biceps tendinitis.
The right-hander had allowed only three homers in his previous eight starts going back to the beginning of May.
"I think overall my command on my pitches was working a lot better," Ogando said through an interpreter. "But I left some out there and they took advantage of them."
Mitch Moreland homered leading off the third for the only Texas run.
The Brewers added a run in the eighth when Jean Segura scored after getting caught in a rundown between third and home.
Segura singled, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch before his unusual score, which came after a pitch way outside when Jeff Bianchi first showed bunt before pulling his bat back.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski threw to third baseman Adrian Beltre to get the runner in a jam. There were three more relay throws, with Pierzynski throwing wide on the inside of third base.
By the time the catcher got the relay from Beltre, Segura was going around him and avoided a sweeping tag to score for a 5-1 lead.
The Rangers official scorer conferred with Elias about the play before crediting a double steal, with Segura going home and Jonathan Lucroy going to second on the play.
"I just got rid of the ball too early," Pierzynski said. "When I threw it, my foot kind of slipped out from under me on the grass. ... That guy's really fast and when he got the ball back to me, he was already by me. It was just one of those plays."
Notes: The start of the game was delayed 42 minutes by rain. ... The Rangers recognized Ron Washington in a pregame ceremony for becoming the team's winningest manager. He was presented a jersey with the No. 582 on it, signifying the Aug. 4 win at Oakland that pushed him past Bobby Valentine . ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez , who had been on the disabled list since July 8 with patellar tendinitis in his left knee, went 0 for 3. He was replaced in the field by Bianchi in the bottom of the sixth. ... Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin, who was general manager of the Rangers from October 1994 until October 2001, was with the Brewers for their first trip to Texas since 2007.