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Brewers' Broxton looks to continue tear vs. Padres

MILWAUKEE -- With four home runs in his last six games, Keon Broxton has shown signs of snapping out of a recent slump and the timing couldn't be better as the Milwaukee Brewers brought highly touted outfield prospects Brett Phillips and Lewis Brinson up for their first taste of major league action.

Whether or not those promotions impacted Broxton's recent surge (6-for-19 with a triple and four home runs) is up for debate, but manager Craig Counsell is happy to pencil the center fielder's name in the lineup Saturday when the Brewers continue their three-game series with the San Diego Padres at Miller Park.

"I think he's a player, we've seen it, he runs hot and cold," Counsell said. "That's been his short track record in the big leagues but when he's going hot, he can do a lot of damage.

"He's in a streak like that right now and that's a good thing for us"

Broxton was batting .119 through the first 15 games this season but, after getting a day off April 20 at Chicago, he went on a tear from there, batting .337 with eight doubles, two triples, four home runs and 12 RBI over his next 28 games.

But a bad spell followed again. Broxton was batting .082 (4-for-49) over 16 games before his most recent bounce-back stretch.

"He's trying to shorten the bad spells and lengthen the good spells," Counsell said of Broxton, who is hitting .232 with 10 homers and 25 RBI. "He's in a good place right now."

Broxton and the Brewers might not need to produce too much offense to help starter Chase Anderson. He's allowed just one earned run in his last four starts, spanning 27 2/3 innings (0.33 ERA), to drop his season ERA to 2.83 -- the fifth-best mark in the National League.

"It's just been a little bit of an evolution for Chase," Counsell said. "His curveball is a bigger weapon. A little bit of velocity increase. Then you combine that with some more confidence because of that. He's a four-pitch pitcher right now. He's up to 95 mph.

"You start to use those adjectives, that's a pretty good pitcher."

Anderson took a no-decision when he faced the Padres on May 15 at Petco Park and is 3-1 with a 4.02 ERA in seven career starts against San Diego.

Rookie right-hander Dinelson Lamet gets the start for the Padres, who are trying to bounce back after their three-game winning streak was snapped Friday night.

Lamet is limiting right handers to a .138 average this season (4-for-29) while lefties have batted .333 against him. He's worked five innings or more in three of his five starts but has allowed seven runs in each of his last two outings.

"Command is the big concern," Padres manager Andy Green said. "You have to command the fastball. I think inside of him is the ability to do that; he's shown that. That's two (games) in a row now. It's time for him to bounce back and really attack the zone with the fastball. The real fastball -- not the held-back, controlled fastball. He's not a control, command pitcher.

"He's a stuff guy, and he has to come at you with that stuff."

The Padres' offense had been hot before arriving in Milwaukee. They collected 34 hits in a three-game sweep at Cincinnati but were held to just four Friday night -- three of which were home runs by Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe and Yangervis Solarte.

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