The league-leading Milwaukee Brewers are in position to sweep a season series from the Colorado Rockies for the first time.
The Rockies, however, are the only NL team that Yovani Gallardo has never beaten.
The Brewers are hoping to change that and complete a four-game home sweep by continuing their success against left-handers, this time in a matchup with struggling Jorge De La Rosa.
Milwaukee (51-32) has outscored Colorado 45-29 in taking the first six meetings, winning 7-4 on Saturday behind Carlos Gomez’s three-run homer and Jonathan Lucroy’s three hits.
”They’ve got the best record in the National League,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ”They’re doing everything well. All aspects of their game are rolling right now."
Colorado (35-46) won all six 2009 matchups with Milwaukee, the only season sweep in this series. The Brewers can return the favor behind Gallardo (5-4, 3.23 ERA), who is 0-4 with a 6.39 ERA in eight career starts against the Rockies.
That figure is a bit deceiving since his ERA in four starts at hitter-friendly Coors Field is 10.07 compared to 3.38 in four at home. Major league batting leader Troy Tulowitzki is 9 for 21 against him while Justin Morneau is 6 for 10.
Gallardo is 4-0 with a 1.09 ERA in five day starts. The right-hander has posted a 1.00 ERA over his last four outings, yielding one run over six innings in Tuesday’s 4-2, 16-inning loss to Washington.
The Brewers are a major league-best 16-6 against left-handed starters going into the meeting with De La Rosa (7-6, 4.78), who began his career with Milwaukee in 2004. He hasn’t fared well when he has returned, going 1-2 with a 9.47 ERA in four starts as a visitor to Miller Park.
De La Rosa has gone 1-2 with an 8.68 ERA over his last four outings and faces a tough task in slowing down Ryan Braun, who is 8 for 11 with two homers against him.
Braun is 5 for 11 with four RBIs in this series, Rickie Weeks is 4 for 10 and Lucroy 6 for 13. The Brewers are hitting .343 with four homers among 11 extra-base hits in the first three games.
Gomez is day to day after leaving in the seventh inning Saturday with a neck strain following a collision with Braun in the outfield. The center fielder is batting .378 during a nine-game hitting streak against Colorado.
"He could come in and say he’s fine and he’ll play but he also can come in and say he’s pretty sore and we’ll have to give him a day," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Tulowitzki is enduring his longest stretch of the year without a multihit effort, going 6 for 27 over his last eight games. Morneau got Saturday off after going 8 for 22 with a homer in the first five meetings with the Brewers.
Colorado has lost 12 of 13 overall and six in a row on the road. The Rockies remain without injured sluggers Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer.
"Put those three guys in that lineup, I think that could be the best offensive lineup (in baseball), you put those three guys back in," Roenicke said.