The Houston Astros , who began the weekend having won four times in 38 games, are now in position for their first sweep since May.
Major league-worst Houston (38-77) had dropped five straight until recording walk-off wins in the first two games of this weekend set, winning 4-3 on Friday before blowing three leads Saturday but prevailing 6-5 in 10 innings on an RBI single by Scott Moore .
"It was nice to do it in back to back nights," said manager Brad Mills , whose club will now aim for its first sweep since taking three games from the Chicago Cubs from May 21-23. "When you don't do it all season and you do it in back to back nights, that's really nice and everyone enjoys it."
Houston would certainly enjoy it if it could finally get the better of Gallardo (10-8, 3.79 ERA).
The right-hander has won nine straight starts versus the Astros and is 12-2 with a 2.61 ERA in his career against them. He has a 0.96 ERA over the last four meetings, including two wins this year.
Gallardo has also given up either one or zero runs in five of his last seven starts overall, including one in each of his last two. He went seven innings against Cincinnati on Monday, allowing six hits in a 6-3 victory.
"He had a good breaking ball," catcher Martin Maldonado said. "He was spotting the fastball where he should be and (had) a good slider."
Gallardo will look to help the Brewers avoid both the sweep and their 12th straight road loss. The 11 consecutive defeats away from home constitutes the club's longest road losing streak since a franchise-worst 17-game skid April 27-June 11, 1970.
Milwaukee (51-61) has given up six or more runs in seven of the 11 losses during the current slide.
The Brewers will get a chance to snap out of their funk against a slumping starting pitcher in Jordan Lyles (2-8, 5.69).
The right-hander has lost his last four decisions and is winless in seven starts since defeating San Diego on June 26. He was effective his last time out, though, giving up two runs and three hits in seven innings of a 3-2, 12-inning loss to Washington on Tuesday.
Lyles got hit hard by Milwaukee in his previous outing, allowing nine runs - seven earned - in five innings of a 13-4 defeat Aug. 1.
Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks has three hits - two of them homers - in five at-bats against Lyles. Weeks is batting .389 in his last 16 games overall, and is 4 for 8 with four doubles this weekend.
|July 29, 2012||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Sore left wrist|
|July 17, 2012||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Right thigh strain|
|June 15, 2012||Shaun Marcum||60-Day DL||Right elbow tightness|
|June 02, 2012||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left quadricep|
|May 31, 2012||Ryan Braun||Day-to-Day||Tight Achilles|
|May 28, 2012||Jonathan Lucroy||15-Day DL||Fractured right hand, out 4-6 weeks|
|August 07, 2012||Jordan Schafer||15-Day DL||Left shoulder separation|
|August 02, 2012||Francisco Cordero||15-Day DL||Inflamed right big toe|
|July 31, 2012||Wilton Lopez||Day-to-Day||Right elbow tightness|
|July 15, 2012||Jed Lowrie||15-Day DL||Sprained right ankle|
|July 14, 2012||Jed Lowrie||Day-to-Day||Right ankle|
|July 08, 2012||Jason Castro||15-Day DL||Fluid in right knee|
HOUSTON (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers don't have a defined closer in a bullpen that's already blown 22 save chances this season.
Now each reliever has to be ready in case the task of holding a ninth-inning lead falls to him.
On Sunday it was Kameron Loe 's turn and, after a couple of hiccups, he shut down Houston to preserve a 5-3 win and end Milwaukee's 11-game road losing streak.
"It keeps us on our toes right now," he said. "I think there's been a learning process this year for a number of guys, myself included, and you've just got to accept the challenges that come along and take it with a smile."
Yovani Gallardo handled Houston once again and Corey Hart homered for the Brewers.
Milwaukee won on the road for the first time since July 8 at Houston in its last game before the All-Star break. The Brewers had been swept at the Reds, Phillies and Cardinals since then to extend their losing streak to the second-longest in franchise history, and the longest since they lost 17 straight in 1970.
Gallardo (11-8) won his 10th straight start against Houston. He's the first pitcher to win 10 or more consecutive starts against one opponent since Roy Halladay did it against Montreal/Washington from 2004-11, according to information provided to the Brewers by the Elias Sports Bureau.
The right-hander allowed three runs and struck out eight in 7 2-3 innings.
Gallardo said it's hard to believe that he's won that many in a row over the Astros.
"I really try not to look at those numbers like that," he said. "They made me work today. It seemed like there were a lot of 3-2 counts and taking some pretty good pitches and fouling some pretty good pitches."
Things got a bit dicey for Loe and Milwaukee's beleaguered bullpen in the ninth inning after a hit and an error left the tying on second base. But he retired Marwin Gonzalez to get his first save in six tries.
"It felt really good to close it out," Loe said.
The Brewers have blown four saves on the road since the All-Star break as the bullpen has struggled to find any consistency.
The problems have been wearing on manager Ron Roenicke .
"It's hard. It really is," he said. "I feel for the guys. I like the guys that are down there and I know how badly they want to do well and it's hard when guys struggle. Those things are hard on coaching staffs because you care about the players, you know what they're struggling through and you feel like it's your job to get them going. And when they don't, it's hard on you."
Hart broke an 0-for-17 streak with Milwaukee's first home run of the series, a solo shot to center field to lead off the sixth inning that made it 4-2.
Jordan Lyles (2-9) allowed eight hits and four runs - two earned - in seven innings for his fifth straight loss. He hasn't won since June 26.
The Astros wore their blue-and-gold star throwback uniforms for the third straight game after picking up dramatic last at-bat wins in them Friday and Saturday night. But the luck of those uniforms, which were worn from 1994-99, wore off on Sunday as last-place Houston lost for the 35th time in 41 games.
Consecutive doubles by Tyler Greene and Gonzalez gave Houston a 1-0 lead in the first. Carlos Gomez , Jean Segura and Gallardo each singled with two outs to tie it at 1-all in the second.
Segura singled to start the fifth inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Norichika Aoki reached on an error by Gonzalez at shortstop and stole second, and Segura beat the throw home on a grounder by Rickie Weeks for a 2-1 lead. Ryan Braun added an RBI grounder.
Martin Maldonado 's RBI double in the eighth inning put Milwaukee up 5-2.
"I know (Gonzalez) feels terrible, but we've talked many times about giving teams extra outs," Houston manager Brad Mills said. "That's exactly what we did that inning, and that's what hurt us."
Scott Moore 's run-scoring single with two outs in the eighth inning chased Gallardo. He was replaced by Jose Veras , who struck out Ben Francisco to end the inning.
NOTES: Aoki had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. ... Houston C Jason Castro , on the disabled list with a right knee injury, went 3 for 3 and played nine innings behind the plate in a rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday night and will be activated on Monday. The Astros optioned C Carlos Corporan after the game to make room for Castro on the roster. ... Milwaukee RHP Shaun Marcum , on the 60-day DL with tightness in his right elbow, is scheduled to make his second rehabilitation start on Wednesday for Single-A Wisconsin. ... Armando Galarraga opposes Chicago's Jeff Samardzija when the Astros open a three-game series with the Cubs on Monday. ... Milwaukee's Mike Fiers takes on Colorado LHP Jeff Francis as the Brewers travel to take on the Rockies.