While Yovani Gallardo is still on the trade market, his disappointing first half may have scared some teams away.
Another dominant performance against the Miami Marlins could perhaps boost his value.
Gallardo aims to get on track and continue his mastery of the visiting Marlins, who try to snap their recent woes against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night.
The All-Star break couldn't have come at a better time for Gallardo (7-8, 4.83 ERA), who struggled through the season's first 3 1/2 months. Besides posting the highest ERA of his career, Gallardo has recorded a career-low 7.21 strikeouts per nine innings and is already one loss away from matching his total from all of 2012.
In his final start before the break, Gallardo allowed three runs and four hits in six innings but didn't factor in the decision of a 5-3 loss at Arizona last Thursday.
"It's just frustrating," Gallardo, who was backed with an early three-run lead, told MLB's official website. "But that's how things are going. ... It just seems like not the right time for me.
"I felt good, I had a good curveball, a good slider, it was just the little things. I get into trouble on my own and I try to do too much, try to make that perfect pitch to get out of it."
Gallardo, in contrast, was at his best in a 6-1 win at Miami on June 10, yielding four hits over a season-high eight scoreless innings. The right-hander improved to 4-0 in six starts against the Marlins (35-59) with a 1.29 ERA, his lowest mark against any team he has faced more than once.
The Brewers (39-56) have handled the Marlins with relative ease lately, hitting 29 homers during a 15-5 stretch in the series. Carlos Gomez and Juan Francisco provided all the offense with their 15th and 12th homers, respectively, as Milwaukee took Friday's opener 2-0.
"It felt good to get the second half started this way," winning pitcher Kyle Lohse said. "We just to keep playing some clean games and just keep it going."
Ryan Braun went 0 for 3 in his return to the lineup after coming off the bereavement list Tuesday. The slugging left fielder is hitting .246 with no homers over an 18-game stretch.
Losers in 12 of 15 at Miller Park, Miami has hit .186 and been limited to seven runs during a four-game road losing streak.
The Marlins will try to bounce back behind Nathan Eovaldi (2-0, 2.93), who has produced five quality starts in as many tries since his season debut June 18 due to inflammation in his shoulder. The right-hander walked a season-high four last Friday but managed to limit the damage, yielding three runs and three hits in six innings in an 8-3 victory over Washington.
Eovaldi has posted a 3.00 ERA but dropped all three of his starts against the Brewers, two of which came while with the Los Angeles Dodgers . He received one run of support in each of those outings.
Braun is 3 for 7 with a homer and a double in their matchups. Eovaldi will also need to be careful against Francisco, who is batting .310 with five homers and nine runs in his last nine home games.
|June 25, 2013||Justin Ruggiano||Day-to-Day||Sore left shoulder|
|June 09, 2013||Chris Coghlan||15-Day DL||Right calf irritation|
|June 09, 2013||Casey Kotchman||15-Day DL||Strained left oblique|
|May 27, 2013||Alex Sanabia||15-Day DL||Right groin discomfort|
|May 19, 2013||Matt Diaz||60-Day DL||Left knee bone contusion|
|May 08, 2013||Chris Valaika||60-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|July 09, 2013||Norichika Aoki||Day-to-Day||Left elbow tightness|
|July 07, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||15-Day DL||Sprained left knee|
|July 06, 2013||Aramis Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Left knee injury|
|July 02, 2013||Wily Peralta||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
|June 24, 2013||Alfredo Figaro||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 23, 2013||Carlos Gomez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left shoulder sprain|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The last team in the major leagues to produce a shutout this season, the Brewers now have seven in the team's last 30 games.
Including two straight over Miami.
Yovani Gallardo and four relievers combined on a five hitter and Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks belted home runs in Milwaukee's 6-0 victory over the Marlins on Saturday night, extending Miami's scoreless streak to 24 innings.
"Yovani had great command today. He was really efficient," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "When we command the ball we're tough to get a lot of runs off of and the relievers keep doing their jobs."
Roenicke said he was confident his staff would come around during their 67-game stretch to start the season without a shutout.
"Some of the guys we knew were going to pitch well eventually," he said. "We all knew that sooner or later (Wily) Peralta was going to put it together once he got his command. We knew (Gallardo) was going to pitch better. It's good to see.
"Early in the season we were getting down by so many runs early. It was tough on the offense. It was tough to stay in a ball game."
That the Brewers pitchers have faced the NL's worst offensive team the past two games shouldn't diminish the accomplishments of his staff, Roenicke said.
"I just know when we don't pitch well everyone hits us hard," he said.
Gallardo (8-8) gave up five hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking two.
Lucroy collected four hits in four at-bats and finished a triple short of a cycle.
"He can really hit," Roenicke said. "This year, I know he didn't start off well. But we really believe this is a guy who can drive in runs and hit for average."
Lucroy knew he'd come around.
"It's just a matter of putting the work in," he said. "I'm trying to stay within myself and find an approach that works. I'm pretty much keeping it simple."
The Brewers continued their dominance at home against the Marlins, having won 13 of the last 16 games at Miller Park, dating to 2009.
The Brewers got to Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi (2-1) for two runs in the first inning. Norichika Aoki and Jean Segura hit back-to-back singles to start the frame and Ryan Braun followed with a two-run double off the base of the center field wall. The Brewers loaded the bases later in the inning but failed to score.
The Brewers extended their lead to 3-0 in the third when Lucroy hit a home run that caromed off the heel of the glove of Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton .
"Baseball is a crazy game," Lucroy said. "I told (Stanton) I owe him dinner when we play in Miami next year."
Stanton was frustrated by his failure to make the catch.
"Little things like that hurt us. It wouldn't have been a homer," he said.
Weeks led off the fourth inning with a homer to center field. Jeff Bianchi followed with a double and later scored on Aoki's single, giving the Brewers a 5-0 advantage. Lucroy's double drove in another run, as the Brewers sent eight batters to the plate in the inning.
Eovaldi surrendered 10 hits and six runs in four innings. He struck out five and walked two. Miami's bullpen held Milwaukee scoreless over the final four innings.
"Most of the counts, I was behind and the ball was up in the zone. It's frustrating. It's tough to pitch like that," Eovaldi said.
Lack of control hurt Eovaldi, Miami manager Mike Redmond said.
"He struggled with his command, he was up in the zone with his fastball, and they hit him pretty good," Redmond said.
The Marlins' loaded the bases in the sixth inning with one out, but Logan Morrison grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"I thought we came out flat these first two games, especially offensively," Redmond said. "We're getting completely shut down. We're not getting guys on base and we're not getting big hits."
NOTES: As part of a Negro Leagues tribute, the Brewers wore reproduction uniforms of the Milwaukee Bears, the city's 1923 representative in the Negro National League. The Marlins donned uniforms of the Minor League Miami Marlins , who were a Triple-A franchise in the International League. The Miami uniforms featured a patch commemorating Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige , who played in the Negro Leagues from 1926-47 and once played for the Marlins. .The Brewers honored former Negro Leagues players George "Jo-Jo" Altman and Lonnie "Showboat" Harris in a pregame ceremony. .With a third-inning single, Miami SS Adeiny Hechavarria has a hit in 14 of his last 15 games. . In a 30-minute first inning, Gallardo threw 25 pitches and Eovaldi totaled 32.