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Texas Looks To Stay Hot In Milwaukee

(Sports Network) - The Milwaukee Brewers followed a Hollywood script to pick up a series win on Thursday. They'll try to keep that momentum going this evening when they host the Texas Rangers for the first time in almost 13 years with tonight's opener of a three-game set at Miller Park.

Thursday's rubber match with the Chicago Cubs needed extra innings before the Brewers emerged with a 5-4 victory thanks to a rare walk-off sacrifice bunt.

Carlos Gomez began the frame by drawing a pinch-hit walk and then took off for second when the following batter, Craig Counsell, laid down a bunt. As third baseman Chad Tracy charged down the line to throw out Counsell, Gomez continued to third. The throw by Chicago's Xavier Nady to third was wild and Gomez was able to trot home with the winning run, capping a chain of events that 15-year veteran Counsell had only before seen on the big screen.

"I saw it in the movie 'Major League,'" he said afterwards, referring to the 1989 film starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes.

Corey Hart added his National League-leading 16th homer in the victory, the Brewers' third in four games.

Milwaukee now plays host to Texas for the first time since 1997, when it took four of its six home meetings with the Rangers in its final season as an American League team. The clubs didn't meet again until 2007 in Texas, with the Rangers winning two of three.

Chris Narveson will face the Rangers for the first time in his career this evening for the Brewers.

After losing his previous two starts, Narveson did not factor into the decision of his team's extra-inning loss to the Cardinals on Saturday. The left-hander yielded four runs on five hits and a season-high five walks over six innings and has yielded at least four runs in four of his last five starts.

Narveson, 28, is 4-3 with a 5.83 earned run average in 17 appearances this year, including eight starts, and is 0-2 with a 6.98 ERA at Miller Park this season.

The Rangers will look for Rich Harden to start piling up some innings tonight when he squares off versus the Brewers.

Harden hasn't lasted longer than 5 1/3 innings in any of his last six starts, though his setback to the Rays on Sunday was his first since April 18. The right-hander needed 111 pitches to get through his five-inning outing and gave up four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and three walks in having a three-decision win streak end.

"He's better than he was earlier, said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "He still has to figure out a way to get us deeper into ball games."

Harden fell to 3-2 with a 5.34 ERA this season and he has struggled away from home, going 2-1 with a 6.67 ERA in six road starts.

The 28-year-old, though, has been solid in two career starts at Miller Park, going 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA. In five career starts versus the Brewers, he is 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA.

Harden could be in for a plethora of offensive support tonight based on the Rangers' most recent series. After losing the opener of a four-game set versus Seattle on Monday, Texas went on to outscore the Mariners 31-6 in winning the final three meetings.

The Rangers capped that burst with a 12-3 victory on Thursday. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young both homered, while six hitter Justin Smoak added a pair of RBI and Julio Borbon went 3-for-3 out of the ninth hole to run his hitting streak to eight games (.483, 14-for-29).

Texas won five of seven on its completed homestand and plays its next nine on the road, with visits to Florida and Houston also on tap. The Rangers also own a 1 1/2-game edge over the second-place Angels in the AL West.

"This homestand the bottom of our order has been huge," Young said. "This series showed what we're capable of doing when we get contributions one through nine."

Both clubs lost two of three in interleague play back in late May. The Rangers are 113-120 all-time versus the NL, while the Brewers are 85-102 in interleague play.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.