Gallardo delivers with arm, bat
Gallardo pitched four-hit ball for seven innings and doubled and scored on Ryan Braun’s two-base hit in the fifth, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-0 victory over the Cubs on Sunday.
Gallardo won for the first time since beating Houston on Aug. 8, a span of seven starts. He allowed three singles and a double while walking three and striking out six.
He was making his 10th start since coming off the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain. Coming in he was 3-3 in that span, including three no decisions. He had one of his better outings in his last start, a no decision in an 8-6 loss to St. Louis last Monday. He went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
Gallardo (12-7) said that he simply wasn’t locating the fast ball before the game against the Cardinals. Now, he was.
“It’s just the ball was up in the zone,” Gallardo said of his earlier troubles. “The last two I was able to keep the ball down. These are big-league hitters. You leave the ball up, it’s gonna get hit.”
The Brewers’ 24-year-old right-hander led off the fifth with a double, then scored two outs later when Braun blooped an opposite-field, broken-bat double down the first-base line.
The Cubs had held their opponents scoreless for 25 innings before Braun’s hit, a streak that started Sept. 8 against Houston.
Braun came in 1 for 8 in the series against the Cubs, but reached base three times on two singles and shortstop Starlin Castros’ throwing error.
“Our pitchers have really thrown the ball well for the last few weeks,” Braun said. “It’s nice to finally pick somebody up. Yovani threw the ball great. Fortunately, his bat was in the lineup for us.”
Cubs manager Mike Quade said there is no margin for error in a close game.
“Often times, something like that will happen. It’s unfortunate, but that’s just one run,” he said. “So, we needed to find a way to score a couple.”
The Cubs didn’t find that way as Kameron Loe and closer John Axford protected the shutout.
Loe retired the first two batters in the eighth, but was lifted for Axford after giving up Xavier Nady’s single. Axford got Tyler Colvin to fly out to the warning track in center on the first pitch.
Axford stayed on and pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 23 chances, finishing the five-hitter and Brewers’ sixth shutout.
Casey McGehee homered in the eighth after the Brewers scored their first run of the three-game series. He hit the first pitch from reliever Thomas Diamond into the Brewers’ bullpen in left for his 21st home run. He also snared a hard grounder off the bat of pinch-hitter Aramis Ramirez in the ninth.
Casey Coleman (1-2), the Cubs’ 15th-round pick in the 2008 June draft, took the loss in his fifth career start after relieving in his first four games.
He allowed one run and five hits, struck out three and walked three.