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Opening series gives preview of Brewers’ tough April schedule

April 3, 2014

If the first three games were any indication, the Milwaukee Brewers have a team that might compete for a playoff spot. But they’ll need to survive a tough April first.

Of their 28 games in the first month of the season, 19 are against teams that made the playoffs last season. The Brewers went 1-2 against the Atlanta Braves this week, and now they’ll get three games against the defending World Series champs in Boston. Coming out of April with a winning record will not be an easy feat.

The Brewers looked much improved over their first three games of 2014, but came away with just one win. Most importantly, Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez were back in the lineup together for the first time since last June. Braun went just 1-for-11 in the opening series, but Ramirez looked to be seeing the ball well, driving in three of the team’s four runs.

While the Brewers’ offense struggled against the Braves, the bright spot was their pitching. Each of the team’s top three starters — Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza — impressed in their first outings of the season. Over 21 innings of work, the trio allowed just four runs (good for a 1.71 earned-run average) on 11 hits with 19 strikeouts against five walks.

As they head to Boston this weekend, the Brewers will need to hit better than .184/.237/.230 to come away with more than one win at Fenway Park. During the six-game road trip, Milwaukee will take part in another pair of home openers, for both the Red Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies.

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