Brewers right-hander Wily Peralta is a different pitcher from the last time he faced the Marlins.
When the Milwaukee right-hander toed the rubber against Miami on June 11, he sported a 6.16 ERA and only one quality start in his previous five outings.
But his no-decision against Miami was the first of four quality starts in his final seven first-half appearances, a stretch that saw his ERA drop from 6.16 to 4.61. He recorded three scoreless outings during that span, two of which came against the Reds.
Peralta has proven even more impressive in his three most recent outings, giving up only one earned run in 21 1/3 innings. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke hopes Peralta's recent success is a sign of better things to come after struggles in May and June.
"I think that along with what we saw last year when he was good for the five outings, that makes me feel a lot better about him being consistent," Roenicke said. "When he showed he could do it last year and then he's getting it together now, I feel like he can be more consistent and not have the meltdowns he has."
The 24-year-old's recent success is vindication for the Brewers, who stuck with Peralta in the rotation through his struggles this season. He recorded a 7.71 ERA in six starts during May and gave up six or more hits in nine of his first 13 starts.
But Milwaukee believed a slow start from Peralta was worth enduring for the eventual emergence of the right-hander, who recorded a 2.25 ERA and three quality starts last September.
"I don't know what turns it around, it's usually confidence," Roenicke said. "But Last year at Triple-A he started off poorly and then he got really hot."
Peralta starts opposite the winless Henderson Alvarez on Sunday. Alvarez endured an even slower start than Peralta. Alvarez will make only his fourth start since his season debut on July 4 after beginning the season on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Although results have been mixed for Alvarez in his first three outings, Marlins manager Mike Redmond is confident in the 23-year-old's ability, despite giving up 17 hits in his past two outings.
"He's got a good arm," Redmond said. "He's done a pretty good job of throwing strikes and limiting damage. In his last start before the All-Star break, he came out a little bit shaky, but ended up really settling. In those middle innings, he was like a different guy. He really settled in and threw some great pitches.
"We've only seen him in three starts. It's one of those things where we're going to continue to evaluate him over the next couple of months and see what he can do over the next 10-15 starts and see where he may fit in the mix of all these young guys. I know he has the ability to run it up to 93 [mph], 94 and maybe touch 95. The arm is there. It's just a matter of him continuing to learn how to pitch, and carrying out a game plan."
Marlins: Hechavarria makes return to leadoff spot
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria finished 1-for-4 in his first game at the leadoff spot since May 24.
Hechavarria is batting .231 (6-for-26) with two runs scored in seven games atop Miami's batting order.
He is batting .424 (25-for-59) during July, raising his batting average from .203 on June 30 to .248, just under the .254 clip he recorded in 41 games with the Blue Jays in 2012.
Brewers: Lucroy reeling in runners against Fish
Jonathan Lucroy finished 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in the Brewers' 6-0 win against the Marlins on Saturday night.
He is batting .556 (10-for-18) with nine RBIs in five games against Miami this season.
Lucroy's two-RBI night also upped his Majors-leading total among catchers to 52.
• Miami is 9-19 against Milwaukee since 2010, including only one victory in five meetings this season.
• Milwaukee improved to 35-0 when leading after eight innings on Saturday. The Brewers, Rangers, A's and Blue Jays are the only teams that are unbeaten when leading after eight.
• Giancarlo Stanton is batting .280 (21-for 75) with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 19 games against National League Central teams.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.