Gallardo targets bounce back effort in Chicago

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo gets a second chance to start 2012 off on the right foot today when the Milwaukee Brewers visit Wrigley Field for game three of a four-game set with the Chicago Cubs.

Gallardo, a 17-game winner last season, was hit hard in his April 6 debut against St. Louis, dropping an 11-5 decision after allowing seven hits and six runs in just 3 2/3 innings.

The drubbing left him with an early earned run average of 14.73. His ERA in 207 1/3 innings last season was 3.52.

In 10 career starts against the Cubs, the 26-year-old Mexican is 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA across 61 1/3 innings with 71 strikeouts.

The Brewers have won the first two games of the series, including Tuesday night when Alex Gonzalez clubbed a three-run homer to highlight a five-run first inning en route to a 7-4 decision.

Lefty starter Chris Narveson (1-0) gave up three runs - two earned - on six hits in five innings of work.

Alfonso Soriano went 2-for-4 and knocked in two runs for Chicago, while Paul Maholm (0-1) struggled in his Cubs debut, surrendering six runs on six hits over four frames.

Today, the Cubs send veteran Ryan Dempster to the mound for his second start of 2012 and 26th against the Brewers. In his initial start this season, Dempster allowed two hits and a run while registering a no-decision in Chicago's 2-1 loss to Washington on April 5.

He walked three batters and struck out 10 and emerged with an ERA of 1.17.

The 34-year-old former closer has made 47 overall appearances against Milwaukee and carries a 2.75 ERA against them over 186 2/3 innings.

He's won 15 of 20 decisions and saved 10 games.

The Brewers lost five of seven in Chicago last season.