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MIL@HOU: Gallardo hurls eight innings of one-run ball

The Brewers could always mash. With Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks in the lineup, that was rarely a problem.

But that other area, the one that supposedly wins championships -- pitching? Well, that wasn't really Milwaukee's strong suit.

But that hasn't been the case this season, and certainly not as of late. Since July 6, Milwaukee has baseball's best record, at 26-9, and a big reason for that has been the pitching. Since July 17, the Brewers have a 2.33 ERA, allowing three runs or fewer in 19 of those 26 games and two runs or fewer in 15.

That, infielder Craig Counsell believes, is no coincidence.

"You can't have a streak like this if you don't have five starting pitchers who do a great job every day," Counsell said. "We've had a good wave here, and we're riding it for a while."

Manager Ron Roenicke agrees.

"We're playing good ball, and we need to continue it, because we still have quite a ways to go," Roenicke said. "[The pitching] has been really good, and that's certainly why we've been so consistent for a long time now."

On Tuesday the Brewers will look to continue their hot play against the Dodgers, who lost the series opener but have won seven of their last nine at Miller Park. Trying to hold Milwaukee's bats in check will be the Dodgers' Chad Billingsley, who did not make it out of the fifth inning in his most recent start, against Philadelphia on Wednesday.

The right-hander is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in six career games (four starts) against the Brewers.

Dodgers: Solid rookies
• Rookie relievers Javy Guerra and Scott Elbert continue to be impressive in the dog days of summer. Guerra -- 10-for-10 in save opportunities this season -- has thrown 11 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings since July 8, and Elbert -- who allowed a solo home run on Monday -- has allowed just that one run since July 6.

• Matt Kemp, who has 31 stolen bases and a career-high-tying 28 home runs, is on pace to join Raul Mondesi (1997 and '99) as the only member of the Dodgers to have 30 homers and stolen bases in the same season.

Brewers: Yo struggles against L.A.
• The Dodgers haven't been kind to Yovani Gallardo -- who opposes Billingsley on Thursday -- throughout his career. In three career starts against Los Angeles, the right-hander is 0-3 with a 10.80 ERA. Gallardo lost his last time out, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings against the Cardinals on Thursday.

• With Monday's win, the Brewers became the first team to win 45 of their first 60 home games since the 1998 Yankees and Padres did so. Both teams advanced to the World Series that year, with the Yankees bringing home the title.

Worth noting
• The Brewers are 20 games above .500 for the first time since they were 83-63 on Sept. 10, 2008.

• Milwaukee relievers have a 1.62 ERA in their last 27 games.

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