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Brewers-Giants Preview

Jul 27, 2015 - 2:55 AM Led by baseball's hottest hitter, the San Francisco Giants are on the brink of overtaking first place in the NL West.

There's little to reason to think the streaking Giants' hit parade won't continue Monday night against struggling Kyle Lohse and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.

The Giants (54-44) won 4-3 against Oakland on Sunday for their 11th victory in 12 games. They're hitting .332 in that span, trimming their deficit behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers from 5 1/2 games to one.

Buster Posey, who had a season-high four hits Sunday, is 23 for 45 with 10 RBIs during that stretch. He's batting a major league-leading .452 since June 25, raising his season average from .287 to .328.

Lohse (5-11, 6.29 ERA) owns baseball's highest ERA, which would be the worst for a full season since Detroit's Nate Robertson posted a 6.35 mark in 2008. The right-hander has failed to record a quality start in five consecutive games.

Manager Craig Counsell cited Lohse's track record, which boasts 147 career wins including 24 over the previous two seasons in Milwaukee, as one of the biggest reasons he's still in the rotation.

"He's had two darn good years here, and you hope he gets it going," Counsell said.

Lohse is 3-4 with a 5.08 ERA in eight career outings against San Francisco and gave up five runs in 5 1-3 innings of an 8-4 loss on May 25.

The Brewers (43-56) have dropped four of five while being shut out in two straight for the first time since April 12-13, 2013, at St. Louis. They've been blanked for three consecutive games once in franchise history, May 3-6, 1972, once against Minnesota and twice against the California Angels.

"We're in a little bit of a drought here, but I'm confident we'll score runs," Counsell said.

It's unclear if Adam Lind, who owns a team-leading .865 OPS, will rejoin the lineup after sitting out Sunday due to back stiffness.

Milwaukee hit .194 while being swept in three games by the Giants at Miller Park from May 25-27, extending San Francisco's winning streak to six in the series. A seventh straight victory would match the longest winning streak in series history, with both teams accomplishing that once previously. The Giants have also taken seven of the last nine meetings at AT&T Park.

San Francisco's Chris Heston (10-5, 3.18 ERA) looks to win a third straight start for the first time in his first matchup with Milwaukee.

Heston is 4-0 with a 2.03 ERA in his last six games, allowing one run over 21 1-3 innings in the last three. He limited San Diego to one hit and two walks in 7 1-3 shutout innings of a 9-3 road victory Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the sixth and becoming San Francisco's first rookie with 10 wins since Matt Cain in 2006.

Opponents are hitting just .196 against Heston going back to his no-hitter against the New York Mets on June 9.

Nori Aoki, who was 9 for 14 in the first series with a homer off Lohse, could return to the lineup pending a medical examination. He hasn't played since June 20 due to a fractured right fibula but is 3 for 7 against Lohse.

Khris Davis, who is 3 for 22 over his last 10 games and struck out four times in Sunday's 3-0 loss at Arizona, has batted .414 with nine extra-base hits in 11 career meetings with the Giants.