PHOENIX -- Doug Davis knows Arizona's next opponent very well, although he's never thrown a pitch against them in his career. Davis and the D-backs head to Milwaukee on Monday to start a four-game series against the Brewers, the team the veteran left-hander pitched for the past three seasons before an offseason trade brought him to Arizona. "I'm excited to be back there and pitch against one of my best friends in baseball," Davis said of his matchup Wednesday against Chris Capuano, his neighbor in Scottsdale, Ariz. "It's going to be fun. It'll be fun to see the fans' reaction and stuff like that when I take the mound. Who knows? They might not even remember [me]."
Davis compiled a 37-36 record in two stints in Milwaukee, finishing his past three seasons with identical amount of wins and losses (33). During his first three seasons with the Brewers he kept his ERA below 4.00, including eight starts after being acquired in the middle of 2003, so he expects the fan reaction to be positive. "I think I did a good job for them," Davis said. "They're the one that kind of traded me. Not that I didn't want to come here of course, but they're the one that traded me. It's not like I wanted to leave or anything. It's something that obviously helped them also." The Brewers, who led the National League Central by 3 1/2 games over Chicago entering Sunday, have led their division since the first month of the season and could be headed to their first playoff appearance since 1982 if they can hold off the fast-charging Cubs. Despite the club struggling during his 3 1/2 years with the Brewers, the squad's improved fortunes have not been hard to watch for Davis because of the bonds he made in Milwaukee. "Because of the way I got along with everybody in the clubhouse," Davis said, "I consider them all close friends and family. I'm just real happy for them. They don't have it locked up yet. They need to keep going in the second half to keep it. I'm proud of them and very happy for them for their success so far." Down on the farm: Carlos Quentin enjoyed a great day at the plate Saturday in a doubleheader for Triple-A Tucson. He was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a home run and three RBIs while scoring twice. He was hit by a pitch in the at-bat following his homer and was ejected after an altercation ensued. In his first five games with Tucson, he's hitting .467 (7-for-15) with the homer and six RBIs, but only one strikeout. "He's swinging the bat well," said Arizona manager Bob Melvin. "He's going to hit. It's more of a mental break for him more than anything else, just to relax a little bit and get some at-bats where he's not grinding as hard as he was here, but he's still our right fielder, and we just want to get him down there to take a little pressure off and get some at-bats in and get his confidence back." Melvin said there's no specific timetable on Quentin's return to the Majors. Rehabbing outfielder Jeff DaVanon went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored in playing parts of both games of the doubleheader. Although his injury rehab assignment runs out after Monday's game, at which time the D-backs either need to activate him or sit him out for five days before sending him on another rehab assignment, Melvin said the club still is not sure what to do with him. Melvin said the decision will be tough with the way Jeff Salazar has played in his first five games since being called up, as he's hit .412 and robbed San Diego's Brian Giles of a home run on Friday. Melvin does not see DaVanon's veteran status as a factor in activating him at the expense of an outfielder like Salazar or Scott Hairston, both younger players. "He's been a good big-league player, that's more of a factor," Melvin said. Lineup changes: The D-backs switched up their lineup a bit Sunday, with a day game after a night game. Hairston started his first game since Salazar was called up on July 6, with Eric Byrnes moving to center and Chris Young getting a day off to get Hairston the start in left. Mark Reynolds started at third in place of Chad Tracy, who has a little bout of tendinitis in his right knee. Melvin said it bothered Tracy the last two nights, Saturday a little bit more, although it did not show on the field, where Tracy drove in the game-winning run Saturday after hitting a pair of doubles Friday. "Being a day game today, turning it over to a night game I'm trying to get him a little extra rest to get him healthy," said Melvin, who added that it's not a serious condition. "The way he's swinging the bat it's tough not to have him in there today. You've got to try to get him a little healthier." With the changes to the lineup, Orlando Hudson moved back into the No. 3 spot, where he hit the entire year before the previous road trip, and Byrnes led off. Bouncing back: After their ugliest stretch of the year, in which Arizona lost 11 of 14 games heading into the All-Star break, including five in a row against losing teams, the club has bounced back with a pair of wins over the Wild Card-leading Padres. "We seem to respond fairly well to the losing streaks that we've had," Melvin said. "The last one kind of felt the worst of all of them, but we've played well the last couple nights, real well. Last night was probably one of the better wins of the year." Improved clutch hitting has keyed the wins after Arizona struggled badly in that category over the 10-game road trip before the break, in which the D-backs went 2-8. Arizona hit .474 (9-for-19) in the past two games after going 12-for-71 (.169) on the trip with runners in scoring position. Up next: The D-backs travel to Milwaukee for a four-game series with the Brewers. Arizona's Micah Owings will start against Dave Bush on Monday at 5:05 p.m. MST.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.