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    MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun will be back in the starting lineup Sunday when the Milwaukee Brewers wrap up their four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
    Braun left the team ahead of their scheduled game in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning to get an injection on his right thumb — a process he undergoes every few months after a nerve issue in the thumb robbed him of his power in 2014.
    Braun returned to the team Thursday ahead of the series opener against St. Louis but despite being ready and available Abry Jones Jersey , according to manager Craig Counsell, Braun has yet to appear in a game since coming back.
    “Ryan is doing fine, he’s doing great,” Counsell said Saturday before the Brewers’ 3-2 loss to the Cardinals. “I just think that if we can give him more time, great, that works out for both of us in that perspective. He’ll play (Sunday).”
    With Braun sidelined, Eric Thames has seen most of the action in left field, a move that allows Counsell to keep hot-hitting Jesus Aguilar at first base.
    Putting Thames in left also allowed the Brewers the flexibility to option slumping outfielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs Saturday morning.
    The 25-year-old Santana hit 30 home runs in a breakout 2017 campaign but with his playing time limited after Milwaukee added Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich during the offseason, Santana hasn’t made the most of his limited opportunities. He was batting .249 with three home runs, 17 RBIs and a .667 slugging percentage while going more than two series without a start.
    “We need to get Domingo going,” Counsell said. “At some point, we’re going to need Domingo. We’d both prefer he’d be rolling and clicking when that time comes. It’s tough to do when you’re not playing that much.
    “Eric and ‘Aggie’ are playing well. We’re trying to find ways to get them both in the lineup. That’s a factor in this.”
    To replace Santana on the active roster Lerentee McCray Jersey , Milwaukee recalled infielder Brad Miller from Colorado Springs. That move could help the Brewers address another troubling situation: The season-long offensive struggles of shortstop Orlando Arcia.
    Arcia is batting .201 with a .234 on-base percentage this season but has remained in Counsell’s starting lineup on a regular basis because of his stellar ability on defense and because the Brewers lacked other viable options.
    Eric Sogard has struggled at the plate this season, too, batting .146 with a .255 OBP. Counsell prefers to keep Jonathan Villar at second base, where he moved after Arcia was promoted two years ago and Tyler Saladino, who performed well enough after joining the team in May for the Brewers to send Arcia to Triple-A is out indefinitely with a serious ankle sprain.
    “Brad has played all over the field,” Counsell said. “He played a lot of shortstop for a while, then he played a lot of second base, then a lot of first base. So, he has moved around in different years, but it’s been a while since he played shortstop.”
    One thing that has been constant for Milwaukee this season is right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.
    As has been the case for most of his career, Chacin has been especially effective at home this season where he’s posted a 2.31 ERA in six starts at Miller Park.
    Overall, he’s made a team-leading 16 starts this season and is 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA. He’s held opponents to a .231 average and a 1.24 WHIP while striking out 66 in 87 2/3 innings.
    “He’s pitching DJ Chark Jersey ,” Counsell said. “He’s got some cunning and some craftiness out there, as well as good stuff.”
    The Cardinals will be trying to get a split of the series after Yadier Molina hit two homers Saturday. The Cardinals dropped the first two games by committing four errors Thursday and allowing a game-ending homer to Aguilar Friday.
    Molina has five homers in his last six games and guided Miles Mikolas through 6 2/3 strong innings.
    “What he’s doing behind the plate is willpower,” St. Louis Mike Matheny said. “Being able to handle pain and discomfort. He’s smarter at the plate. He has such a great idea, and he’s dangerous, obviously. It’s hard to say, if he kept playing, where he’d be right now in the home run column and a number of others.”
    Right-hander Luke Weaver gets the nod for the Cardinals as they try to build momentum after snapping a three-game losing streak.
    Weaver will be looking for his first victory since May 11 when he threw five shutout innings in a 9-5 victory at San Diego. In seven starts since that outing, Weaver is 0-4 with a 4.46 ERA and has allowed four runs in each of his last three starts while recording only one out past the fifth inning.
    He’s 2-2 with a 4.41 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers with a 2-2 mark and 3.68 ERA in four starts at Miller Park, where he lasted four innings and took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits in an 8-3 loss on May 28.
    Another series, another opponent sitting at the top of its division.
    That’s the scenario for the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend as they welcome the Atlanta Braves, who lead the National League East, for a three-game series at Busch Stadium starting Friday.
    And Atlanta (45-34) will be a stronger team offensively for the series. Prized rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna will be activated off the 10-day disabled list for Friday night’s game and should slot right into the lineup.
    The 21-year-old Acuna Corey Grant Jersey , who missed a month with a right knee injury suffered on May 27 in Boston, hit .265 with five homers and 13 RBIs in his first 117 big league at-bats. Acuna recorded a solid .779 OPS, although his 10 walks and 37 strikeouts suggests he needs to gain a bit more control of the strike zone.
    Acuna’s return at least tempers worries about the status of center fielder Ender Inciarte, who left Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Cincinnati when he felt discomfort near his left oblique. Should Inciarte have to miss any time, Acuna could bat near the top of the lineup.
    The Braves missed a chance to extend their division lead during a six-game homestand against two last-place teams. They lost two of three to Baltimore, which has the worst record in baseball, and dropped two of three to Cincinnati, which isn’t playing like a last-place team at the moment with nine wins in 10 games.
    “We didn’t play up to our capabilities 100 percent,” Atlanta starting pitcher Sean Newcomb said to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “You’re not going to every day. I know we’re going to come back out at St. Louis and be pretty strong, pitching and offensively.”
    The Braves will have to be strong to deal with Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas (8-2, 2.69 ERA), who has been one of baseball’s best free-agent finds this year. Signed after three successful years in Japan Ronnie Harrison Jersey , Mikolas has put together an All-Star resume with St. Louis.
    He is coming off a 3-2 win Saturday in Milwaukee, giving up only three hits and two runs to the NL Central leaders in a 6 2/3-inning effort. Mikolas walked two and fanned five, giving him 71 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 97 innings.
    Mikolas has faced Atlanta just once in his career, throwing two shutout innings in relief six years ago when he pitched for San Diego.
    Julio Teheran (5-5, 4.52) will continue a season-long search for consistency as he starts for the Braves. After tossing six no-hit innings on June 17 in a win over San Diego, Teheran was belted around Saturday for seven runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-5 loss to Baltimore.
    The veteran right-hander has made five career starts against the Cardinals, going 1-3 with a 3.86 earned run average. Two players who have hurt him are Matt Carpenter, who is 6-for-12 with two homers, and Marcell Ozuna, who is batting .405 with three homers in 42 career at-bats against Teheran.
    St. Louis (42-37) had a four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with a 5-1 loss to Cleveland.

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