These NL Central rivals meet for the first time in 2013 on Friday night in Cincinnati, with NL batting leader Carlos Gomez of the Brewers looking to extend his career-high hitting streak to 15 games.
Milwaukee's 10-game trip consists of visits to the clubs ahead of it in the division standings - Cincinnati (19-16), Pittsburgh and St. Louis. The Brewers (15-17) capped a 3-6 homestand with a 4-1 defeat to Texas on Wednesday.
Milwaukee was swept by the Cardinals in four games last weekend.
"Definitely, this is an important road trip," Gallardo told the Brewers' official website. "Ten games, and they're all big, especially after losing those four against St. Louis here at home. Those next 10 games are going to allow us to make up some ground."
Gallardo (3-1, 4.50 ERA) has gone 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA over his last four starts after posting a 6.61 ERA in his first three. However, his three-start win streak ended when he allowed four runs over six innings of a 7-6 loss to St. Louis on Saturday.
The right-hander owns a 6.00 road ERA compared to a 3.90 home mark. He dropped both 2012 starts at Cincinnati with a 4.63 ERA while going 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two against the Reds at home last year.
"It's always fun when you see a team for the first time, like the Reds," Gallardo said. "They have a little different lineup than last year, so we'll see how it plays out."
One of the familiar faces to Gallardo is Bruce, 12 for 29 with two homers against him.
The Reds outfielder had a career-high 34 homers last year, with team bests of four homers and 13 RBIs against Milwaukee in 2012. Bruce, though, ended a 14-game home run drought with just his second of the season in a 7-2 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
Bruce's average has dropped steadily since he was batting .282 on April 22 - the date of his previous home run - as he's gone 12 for 60 (.200) in the last 15 games to leave him at .248.
The opposite has been true for Gomez, who's hitting .491 and has scored 13 runs during his 14-game run. The center fielder is batting .386 overall.
Gomez and the Brewers are 4-7 in games in which they face a left-handed starter heading into their first look at another one, Reds rookie Tony Cingrani (2-0, 2.63).
Cingrani gave up a season-high four runs over six innings of a 6-4 road victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. He had a season-low five strikeouts after recording 28 in his first three 2013 starts.
The Reds went 9-6 against the Brewers last season and 7-2 at home.
Joey Votto 's 10-game hitting streak ended Wednesday and he failed to reach base for the first time all season, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Votto is a .320 hitter versus Gallardo.
Shin-Soo Choo is 1 for 2 against Gallardo, and the Reds newcomer is hitting .388 at home and .398 with all seven of his homers against right-handers this year.
|April 28, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Right index finger|
|April 12, 2013||Alex Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left hand contusion|
|April 07, 2013||Jean Segura||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left quad|
|April 07, 2013||Chris Narveson||15-Day DL||Sprained middle finger|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Left knee sprain|
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 27, 2013||Chris Heisey||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained hamstring|
|April 24, 2013||Manny Parra||15-Day DL||Strained left pectoral muscle|
|April 22, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||Day-to-Day||Bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Zack Cozart||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right hand|
|April 20, 2013||Ryan Hanigan||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Brandon Phillips homered and made a spectacular rally-busting play - using his left knee to get a forceout and start a double play - as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 on Friday night.
Phillips had an RBI single off Yovani Gallardo (3-2) and added a solo homer in the seventh after making a saving play in the top of the inning. With two Brewers aboard, he got to Ryan Braun 's grounder up the middle, tagged second base with his left knee while falling down and threw to first for a double play.
The Reds won for the fifth time in seven games. Cincinnati is 14-6 at Great American Ball Park, the most home wins in the majors.
Milwaukee got solo homers from Jean Segura and Braun, but lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Alfredo Simon (3-1) threw two innings in relief of rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani . Aroldis Chapman gave up a run on a wild pitch in the ninth while getting his eighth save in as many chances.
Carlos Gomez went 0 for 4 and grounded into a double play, ending his hitting streak at a career-best 14 games.
Neither Gallardo nor Cingrani lasted more than four innings on a wet night, testing both bullpens' depth. Both were stingy, but Cincinnati's had a one-run lead to hold. Reds relievers allowed three hits and four walks in five innings.
The Brewers gave up eight hits and nine walks.
The Reds pulled ahead 2-0 in the third on Phillips' two-out RBI single and Jay Bruce 's double off the glove of Norichika Aoki in right field. Bruce improved to .419 against Gallardo.
Zack Cozart 's RBI single in the fourth put the Reds up 3-2. Gallardo gave up five hits and five walks in his four innings, throwing 100 pitches.
Cingrani has relied on his fastball to retire batters, getting a lot of strikeouts while piling up high pitch counts. He's also given up a lot of homers - six in five starts, tied with Bronson Arroyo for the team lead.
Segura led off the fourth with a homer that barely eluded the top of Bruce's glove in right field and bounced off the top of the wall before continuing into the stands. Braun homered to right field on the next pitch, giving him eight overall and a season-high 11-game hitting streak.
Cingrani lasted only four innings, giving up five hits and two walks while throwing 85 pitches. It was the third time in the Reds' last four games that their starter lasted five innings or less.
The Reds activated catcher Ryan Hanigan off the disabled list before the series opener. Hanigan, the Reds' best defensive catcher, had been sidelined since April 21 by a strained left oblique. Hanigan had a pair of singles and made a diving catch behind the plate on Segura's sacrifice bunt attempt.
NOTES: Steady rain fell through the early innings. .... The Reds designated C Corky Miller for assignment, opening a roster spot. ... OF Chris Heisey is expected to start a rehab assignment soon. He's been sidelined since April 29 by a pulled right hamstring. ... Cingrani picked Aoki off first base in the third inning. Aoki reached in all five plate appearances. ... RH Hiram Burgos (1-0) starts Saturday against the Reds, who go with Mat Latos (3-0).
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