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Wed, May 15, 2013 - 7:05 PM ET
 

Brewers-Pirates Preview

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The Milwaukee Brewers' struggles this month include a pair of subpar outings from Yovani Gallardo, and his latest was his shortest of the season.

The Brewers are hoping their ace can get untracked by continuing his dominance of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Milwaukee (16-21) has dropped 10 of 12 this month and is 1-4 on this 10-game road trip.

It appeared the Brewers were turning things around after opening this four-game series with Monday's 5-1 win, but they followed that up by squandering a two-run lead to fall 4-3 in 12 innings the next day.

Turning to Gallardo (3-2, 4.70 ERA) would seem to be an ideal chance to bounce back, but he's 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA over his last two starts after concluding April by winning three in a row with a 2.29 ERA.

The final game of that stretch was a 10-4 home win over Pittsburgh (22-17) on April 29, when he allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings opposite Wandy Rodriguez, who is scheduled to oppose him again.

Despite that success, consistency has been an issue for the right-hander. Only three of his eight starts have been quality outings, and he lasted just four innings in Friday's 4-3 loss to the Reds. He gave up three runs and struck out five, but walked a season-high five batters for the second time in four games.

It was his shortest start since being pulled with two outs in the fourth of a loss on opening day of last season to St. Louis, which the Brewers visit for three games this weekend.

"We'll see what happens, but this is too long of a period for him, because he's been so good for so many years, to see him scuffle at times," manager Ron Roenicke told the team's official website. "So we're trying to figure out some things with him.

"We'll get it figured out."

Roenicke is hoping another matchup versus the Pirates can spark Gallardo. He's 10-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 15 career starts against the NL Central rivals, compiling a 2.05 ERA while winning his last seven decisions over eight starts since a loss at Pittsburgh on Aug. 19, 2009.

Gallardo has been masterful while winning all three visits since, tossing 17 2-3 scoreless innings with 21 strikeouts.

He's also limited Andrew McCutchen to 3 for 15 with a homer since 2011, but the Pirates' star center fielder hit the walkoff homer that decided Tuesday's meeting.

Pittsburgh has won two of three versus Milwaukee after dropping nine straight.

"Everyone knows the success the Brewers have had against us, it's like they have a horseshoe (in their back pocket) every time they play us," McCutchen said. "It's awesome to be able to scratch out a win like this against them."

McCutchen is just 4 for 18 over the past four home meetings with the Brewers, but three of those hits have been homers.

Rodriguez (3-2, 3.62) is 0-2 with an 8.79 ERA over his last three starts against Milwaukee, and he surrendered season highs of seven runs and three homers while issuing four walks in 3 2-3 innings in the loss to Gallardo.

The left-hander had one of his best performances of the season Friday, throwing four scoreless innings before giving up a solo homer and leaving after the sixth of a 7-3 win at New York.

He's 4-1 with a 1.90 ERA in his last seven home starts, but that defeat came in the latest one - 6-2 to Washington on May 5.

Tagged: Brewers, Pirates, Yovani Gallardo, Andrew McCutchen

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