ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers finally got timely hitting to go with their strong pitching.
Yovani Gallardo gave up four hits in seven innings, Martin Maldonado tied a career-high with four RBIs and the NL Central-leading Brewers avoided a three-game sweep by beating David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 Wednesday.
Gallardo (6-5) retired 13 in a row at one point, en route to moving past Ben Sheets into sole possession of fifth place on the Brewers career list with 87 wins.
"Command was great," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Maldonado also drove in four runs on Oct. 2, 2012 against San Diego.
Milwaukee had lost three in a row, getting outscored 9-2.
"We had to win this game, no doubt," Roenicke said.
Price (11-8), the subject of trade speculation heading into Thursday’s deadline for non-waiver deals, had his bid to win a team-record seventh consecutive start dashed after allowing four runs and seven hits over seven innings. The left-hander shares the franchise mark of six straight wins with Matt Moore and Scott Kazmir.
Price said "absolutely" when asked if he expected to remain with the Rays.
"I’m playing golf (Thursday) and I keep my phone in my bag when I play golf," he said.
The Rays lost for just the second time in their last 13 games. A victory Wednesday would have lifted Tampa Bay (53-55) to .500 for the first time since late April.
Maldonado put the Brewers up 2-0 with a two-run single in the second, an inning that included two walks. It was just the second time this season Price walked a pair in the same inning.
"It’s always good when you can score early against that guy," Maldonado said,
After Aramis Ramirez had a third-inning run-scoring single, Maldonado made it 4-0 when he drove in a run with a double in the sixth.
Maldonado got his third hit on an RBI single in the eighth.
"It’s awesome," Gallardo said. "He did a great job. Obviously Price is a tough pitcher to face. He did it all today."
Gallardo won for the first time since beating Arizona on June 19 to stop a six-start winless streak.
Jeremy Jeffress gave up two of his three hits in the ninth before Zach Duke walked Logan Forsythe to load the bases with two out. Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez entered and got his 31st save by striking out Yunel Escobar.
Price had gone eight or more innings in eight of his previous nine starts.