With the Milwaukee Brewers having secured a second straight losing season, the club's struggles have given Chris Capuano the opportunity to show he still has something left three years after Tommy John surgery.
Capuano will try to make a fifth straight strong start as the Brewers close out their home schedule Sunday in the finale of a four-game series against the Florida Marlins.Milwaukee (72-82) moved Capuano (3-4, 3.99 ERA) into the rotation at the end of August to replace struggling Manny Parra. Although Capuano missed all of 2008 and 2009 after undergoing elbow surgery for the second time in his career, he's shown promise over the last month, going 1-2 with a 2.59 ERA in his last four starts.The left-hander gave up two runs and four hits while striking out seven in six innings of a 5-2 loss to Cincinnati on Monday. He didn't factor in the decision."Physically, this is about the best I've felt," Capuano said. "This is something I really wanted ... the opportunity to get a few to several starts in at the end of this year. It's just been great to get out there and to feel good and to feel healthy."Capuano is winless against Florida since 2005, however. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings of a 3-2 loss June 3.He'll be looking to help the Brewers close out their home schedule on a high note after Saturday's 4-0 loss clinched a second straight losing season since winning the wild card in 2008.Milwaukee is also assured of a losing record at home, entering Sunday 39-41 at Miller Park.After scoring 27 runs over its previous three games, which included two wins over Florida (77-77), Milwaukee had six hits in 6 2/3 innings off Marlins starter Chris Volstad."We ran into a hot pitcher," manager Ken Macha said. "He worked fast. He sank the ball, he cut the ball, pretty good slider. No walks. We were limited to all singles tonight and he did a good job keeping us off balance."Mike Stanton hit his 21st homer for Florida, which has won four of six. He moved ahead of Tyler Colvin of the Chicago Cubs for the rookie lead in home runs.The Marlins will try to earn a split of this series when they hand the ball to rookie Adalberto Mendez (1-1, 1.56), who will make his fourth start.He gave up one run and 10 hits over seven innings of a 5-2 win over the Mets on Tuesday before leaving without a decision.The right-hander's first two starts were against Philadelphia.