The Milwaukee Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo has been the best pitcher
in the major leagues for nearly a month, and he’s likely the last
thing the slumping Florida Marlins want to see.
Looking to extend his own run, Gallardo will try to tie the
major league lead with his eighth win as Milwaukee continues a
four-game set with the Marlins on Saturday night in Miami.
After a career-high 14 wins last year, Gallardo got off to a
rough start by going 2-2 with a 6.10 ERA. But beginning May 7 when
he limited St. Louis to one hit through eight innings, Gallardo has
won five consecutive starts with a 1.29 ERA.
On Sunday, the right-hander retired 14 straight at one point and
held San Francisco to four hits over eight innings in a 6-0
“It was just me focused on making pitches,” said Gallardo, who
will try to join Pittsburgh’s Kevin Correia with eight wins. Fellow
seven-game winners Jair Jurrjens of Atlanta and the Cardinals’ Kyle
Lohse are also scheduled to start Saturday.
Gallardo (7-2, 3.89) won his only career start at Sun Life
Stadium last season and is 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA in three games
versus the Marlins.
He will try to help the Brewers (31-26) post back-to-back wins
in south Florida for the first time since April 10-11, 2007. Ryan
Braun’s first career pinch homer, a two-run shot off Leo Nunez in
the ninth, gave Milwaukee a 6-5 win Friday.
Braun, a collegiate star at Miami, was held from the starting
lineup with a sore shoulder. He leads the team with 13 homers.
“Probably the first time ever in my career I’ve gotten an at-bat
without swinging at all,” he said. “No batting practice, no flips
in the cages, no tee, no nothing. Just kind of went up there,
simplified the game, saw the ball, hit the ball.”
Gaby Sanchez and Mike Stanton went deep for Florida, which
trailed 2-0 after one inning and 4-1 after three before
“It hurts because we had our right guys on the mound and the
guys battled back to get the lead and then we relied on those guys
to close the game,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
The Marlins (31-24) will now try to avoid a season high-tying
third straight loss and fifth in six games. They will go with Chris
Volstad (2-4, 5.91), who hasn’t won in five weeks and is looking to
bounce back from his shortest outing of 2011.
The right-hander lasted 3 1-3 innings against Arizona on Monday,
allowing five runs and eight hits in a 15-4 loss.
Both of Volstad’s wins came in April at home, but he’s since
gone 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA there.
Volstad is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in two career starts versus the
Brewers. He didn’t receive a decision against them June 2, 2010, in
Florida after yielding a run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings of a
Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder drove in two Friday with his 12th
homer. He’s hitting .361 with four homers and eight RBIs during a
nine-game hitting streak in Miami, and has two singles in six
at-bats against Volstad.