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San Diego at Milwaukee

Venue: Miller Park

The Milwaukee Brewers made a valiant run over the last month and a half to compete for a playoff spot, but they ultimately fell short of returning to the postseason.

One day after having those hopes dashed, Milwaukee begins its final series of the season when it hosts the San Diego Padres on Monday night.

The Brewers have dropped six of their last nine games, including Sunday's 7-0 loss to Houston that officially eliminated them from playoff contention. Despite being 12 games under .500 on Aug. 19, Milwaukee (81-78) guaranteed at least a .500 season by going 27-12 since while becoming part of the postseason discussion with its surge.

"It was amazing, the run that we went on to get into contention," said reigning NL MVP Ryan Braun, who has a career-high and NL-best 41 homers. "I think that we're all proud of that. Ultimately, we're disappointed we didn't end up back in the postseason, but it certainly wasn't for a lack of effort."

The defending Central champion Brewers were shut out Sunday for the first time since Aug. 25 and mustered only four hits.

"For us to come out and get shut out, that was probably the last thing that I thought would happen," manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's hard right now. To play as well as we did to get back in it, this was a very disappointing series."

Milwaukee looks to begin its final series on a positive note with help from Shaun Marcum, who is coming off his first victory since beating San Diego on June 8.

Marcum (6-4, 3.74 ERA) allowed one run and struck out seven in six innings of Wednesday's 8-1 win at Cincinnati after going 0-1 with a 4.58 ERA over his previous seven outings.

He missed more than two months in that stretch with right elbow tightness.

"Vintage Shaun Marcum," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "He made pitches in big situations, got some strikeouts in big situations. It was very impressive."

The right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.51 ERA in four career starts versus the Padres, who blew a three-run lead over the final two innings of Sunday's 7-5 loss to San Francisco.

San Diego (75-84) led 5-2 heading into the eighth, but the Giants scored twice that inning and three times in the final frame to hand the Padres their fourth loss in five games.

"Obviously, you would've liked to win that one today and go out (at home) on a high note," said Chase Headley, who hit his 31st homer. "But, that's going to happen. It's part of it."

Headley is hitting .409 in six games against the Brewers this season for San Diego, which will send Clayton Richard to the mound as he seeks a new career high for victories.

Richard (14-13, 3.91), though, didn't fare well in his previous attempt, giving up six runs and a season worst-tying 10 hits in 3 2-3 innings of Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the Dodgers.

The left-hander went 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his previous six starts.

"That was a tough one," Richard told the team's official website. "You hate putting your team in that type of hole. It was a rough day."

Richard is 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in five lifetime starts versus the Brewers, who have won seven of the last 10 home meetings with the Padres.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Clayton Richard, LHP
2012 stats
211.2 Innings Pitched 118.0
14-13 Wins-Losses 6-4
3.91 Earned Run Average 3.74
42 Walks 37
104 Strikeouts 107
96 Pitches Per Start 98
Career vs. opponent
26.0 Innings Pitched 25.2
2-1 Wins-Losses 3-0
4.15 Earned Run Average 3.51

Shaun Marcum, RHP
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
San Diego3rd NL West6980.46316 ½ 3-7 W 1
Milwaukee3rd NL Central7872.52055-5 W 1
vs Shaun Marcum
vs Clayton Richard
Hart92012.222 Shop

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Game Odds
San Diego 135 Milwaukee -145
San Diego
A. AlmonteAnkle
Y. AlonsoWrist
J. BenoitShoulder
B. BoyerShoulder
E. CabreraHamstring
R. JacksonWrist
J. JohnsonElbow
C. KellyElbow
C. LuebkeElbow
T. PattonShoulder
C. QuentinKnee
T. RossSoreness
J. WielandElbow
J. BianchiElbow
J. HendersonShoulder
T. ThornburgElbow
Series Game Log
Apr 14MILSTL 4-0Lynn Garza 
Apr 15MILSTL 6-1Miller Estrada 
Apr 16MILMIL 5-1Peralta Kelly 
Apr 28STLMIL 5-3Duke Maness 
Apr 29STLMIL 5-4Thornburg Siegrist 
Apr 30STLSTL 9-3Miller Garza 
Jul 11MILSTL 7-6Neshek Rodriguez 
Jul 12MILSTL 10-2Wainwright Nelson 
Jul 13MILMIL 11-2Peralta Martinez 
Aug 1STLMIL 7-4Peralta Wainwright 
Aug 2STLSTL 9-7Masterson Lohse 
Aug 3STLSTL 3-2Lackey Jeffress 
Sep 4MILSTL 3-2Gonzales Peralta 
Sep 5MILMIL 6-2Fiers Lackey 
Sep 6MILSTL 5-3Lynn Lohse 
Sep 7MILSTL 9-1Wainwright Nelson 
Sep 16STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 17STL 8:15 PM EDT  
Sep 18STL 8:15 PM EDT