Trea Turner appears to have hit the ground running since returning from a two-month absence on the disabled list with a non-displaced fracture in his right wrist. The 24-year-old drove in the eventual winning run on Saturday and looks to aid the Washington Nationals in salvaging a split of their four-game series versus the host Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon.
Turner is 4-for-11 with three extra-base hits and two runs scored in the series for Washington, which has won five of seven to trim its magic number to capture the National League East title to 13. While Washington’s postseason ticket is all but punched, Milwaukee saw its three-game winning streak halted to fall 4 1/2 games behind red-hot Chicago in the NL Central and 1 1/2 in back of Colorado for the second wild-card spot. Jonathan Villar is riding quite the sizzling stretch by going 10-for-18 with five RBIs during his five-game hitting streak for the Brewers. The 26-year-old Dominican is 7-for-20 with three extra-base hits (two doubles, home run) versus the Nationals this season and 1-for-4 with a double in a small sample size in his career against Sunday starter Edwin Jackson.
TV: 2:10 p.m. ET, MASN, WUSA 9 (Washington), FSN Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Edwin Jackson (5-3, 3.33 ERA) vs. Brewers LH Brent Suter (2-2, 3.79)
Jackson has won three of his last four starts and improved to 5-3 since being acquired from Baltimore after allowing two earned runs over six innings for the second straight outing in Tuesday’s 8-3 triumph versus Miami. The 33-year-old struggled mightily in his last encounter with Milwaukee, surrendering three homers and seven runs total over five frames of an 8-0 setback on July 25. Ryan Braun is batting a .333 with six extra-base hits (five doubles, one homer) versus Jackson, who has limited Neil Walker to just a 5-for-22 showing at the plate.
Suter is expected to be a on limited pitch count in his first start since returning from the 10-day disabled list due to a left rotator cuff strain. The 28-year-old pitched well in Wednesday’s rehab stint with Class-A Wisconsin, working three innings and tossing 34 pitches. Suter was shuffled into the starting rotation when Chase Anderson strained an oblique and posted a 2-1 mark with a 3.65 ERA in eight trips to the mound.
1. Milwaukee C Stephen Vogt is riding a six-game hitting streak into Sunday’s tilt versus Washington, against which he is 9-for-22 this season.
2. Nationals OF Jayson Werth is 0-for-11 with four strikeouts in this series.
3. Washington 1B Ryan Zimmerman owns a six-game hitting streak overall and is 7-for-23 versus Milwaukee this season.
PREDICTION: Nationals 4, Brewers 3