Ryan Vogelsong’s most recent outing was perhaps the best of his career, while Yovani Gallardo is trying to continue his recent dominance.
They’ll oppose each other Wednesday night as Vogelsong looks to help the San Francisco Giants end a five-game road losing streak against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Vogelsong (6-8, 3.88 ERA) has been in search of help lately, but he didn’t need much while tossing a two-hitter in a 5-1 win over the New York Mets on Friday. He had been backed by three total runs over his previous six outings, going 0-5 with a 4.01 ERA before tossing the first nine-inning complete game of his 10-year career.
"My last month has been pretty tough," Vogelsong told MLB’s official website. "Some tough luck and bad pitches and 0-5 … I told myself (Friday), ‘We’re starting a new month. It’s time to have a good last two months, pitch my butt off and do my part to try to get us into the postseason.’
"Hopefully, this one will give me some momentum to carry me through the last two months."
Vogelsong’s latest outing at Miller Park ended in a 4-3 defeat April 17, 2013, but he didn’t figure in the decision after allowing three runs in seven innings.
The Giants lost by the same score in the opener of this three-game series Tuesday, putting one of baseball’s best road clubs on the cusp of a six-game slide in Milwaukee (62-51) for the first time since 2007-09.
Ending that skid could be a problem against Gallardo (6-5, 3.38), who has put together a stretch of 16 2-3 scoreless innings – his longest since a career-best 21 straight as a rookie from Sept. 5-17, 2007.
The right-hander allowed four hits in seven innings and retired 13 in a row at one point in last Wednesday’s 5-0 win at Tampa Bay.
"Command was great," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Gallardo is trying to give Milwaukee some breathing room in the division chase, as it leads St. Louis by one game. He may feel comfortable getting the ball after a little extra rest since he’s 4-0 with a 3.10 ERA in eight starts after getting six or more days between starts over the past two years.
He’s also 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his last four starts against the Giants, and he owns a 4-1 record and 2.12 ERA in five career home matchups.
Pablo Sandoval, who hit a three-run homer Monday to provide San Francisco’s only offense, is 2 for 18 with a homer against Gallardo.
Hunter Pence hasn’t been much better over the past five years versus Gallardo, going 2 for 15. However, he enters this matchup with a .358 average and 19 RBIs in his last 25 road games.
Ryan Braun is 1 for 17 with a two-run homer over the last five home meetings with the Giants after going 0 for 3 while being hit by a pitch Tuesday. His only hit in three at-bats versus Vogelsong was a home run.
All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who had a pair of doubles in the opener, has a .360 average and .660 slugging percentage in 14 games against the Giants since 2012.