Yovani Gallardo has been on a roll for the Brewers since his rough season debut versus the Cardinals earlier this month. He'll try to continue his recent surge against his nemesis this evening as Milwaukee begins a three-game series against the hosting St. Louis.
Gallardo, a 17-game winner last season, got the call for the Brewers in their Opening Day assignment against the Cardinals and was smacked around for six runs over 3 2/3 innings, serving up home runs to Carlos Beltran, David Freese, Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina.
The outing simply extended the right-hander's career-long troubles against the Cardinals as he is 1-8 with a 6.17 earned run average in this series.
"I don't know why [Gallardo] was out-of-sync. Once in a while he gets out of his delivery and his rhythm isn't there," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke following that April 6 loss. "We saw in spring training where he would have it for an inning, then he would be off for awhile, but then he would get it back. Today he didn't have any innings where he was on."
The 26-year-old has been on since however, giving up just four runs over his last three starts while going seven innings in each outing. He did pick up a second straight no-decision on Sunday versus the Rockies, yielding a run on six hits with a season-high eight strikeouts.
Milwaukee lost two of three in that series to St. Louis, giving the club a setback in eight of the past 10 encounters.
The Brewers were in position to begin the week with a three-game sweep of the Astros, but dropped Wednesday's finale 7-5. Milwaukee added to its National League-leading homer total of 27 with three longballs in the loss. Ryan Braun had a two-run shot and Travis Ishikawa and Corey Hart added solo homers.
Hart leads the Brewers with six homers and 13 RBI this season and went 4-for-9 with three homers and four RBI in the three-game set with the Cardinals. Braun, meanwhile, has heated up with three homers over his past five games, going 7-for-20 in that span with six RBI.
That duo will look to stay hot this evening versus Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook, who has been touched for only five runs over his three starts spanning 20 2/3 innings and just three of those have been earned.
The 34-year-old righty won his first two starts, but took a tough-luck 2-0 loss versus the Pirates on Saturday. Westbrook allowed seven hits and two walks while fanning six.
Westbrook did not face the Brewers in that earlier series and is 1-3 with a 3.08 ERA in six career meetings against them.
The Cardinals salvaged the finale of their three-game series against the Cubs with a 5-1 win on Wednesday. They had lost four of their previous six before Lance Lynn hurled eight innings of one-run ball to become baseball's first four-game winner. He cracked the rotation due to an injury to Chris Carpenter.
"During the spring he was just coming in to compete and hoping to be able to contribute somewhere," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Lynn. "And then all of a sudden to be one of the starting five and next thing you know having a good start. He's just going about it the right way."
Freese smacked a two-run homer and added an RBI double, while Beltran snapped an 0-for-18 slump with an RBI double.
Beltran went 5-for-13 against the Brewers earlier this season with a pair of homers and three RBI and is 4-for-7 against Gallardo in his career.