video thumbnail

ARI@MIL: Gallardo fans six over 6 2/3 shutout innings

There isn't a team Yovani Gallardo likes pitching against more than the Houston Astros, whom he has a 10-2 career record against -- his most wins against any club.

Gallardo will seek his 11th win over the Astros on Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Houston, the final series for each team before the All-Star break.

The Brewers right-hander has put together five consecutive quality starts, though he has won just two of those outings.

"As a starting pitcher, obviously, you want to stay out there as long as you can," said Gallardo, who is 6-6 with a 3.87 ERA this season.

The Brewers, coming off a series split with the Marlins, sit at fourth place in the National League Central, with the Astros in fifth. Houston has lost two series -- eight games -- in a row.

J.A. Happ will oppose Gallardo. The lefty has rebounded nicely since being on the wrong side of Matt Cain's June 13 perfect game -- yielding eight runs in 3 1/3 innings -- to win two of his last three starts, allowing an average of two runs an outing. Dating back to Aug. 26 of last year, Happ has had 15 quality starts.

In two starts (11 innings) against the Brewers this season, Happ is 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA.

Brewers: Bullpen struggling
• After the bullpen squandered leads while allowing 10 runs on Tuesday and two runs on Wednesday, Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke thinks his relievers just need a few good outings to build on.

"That's always the way it is," Roenicke said. "With hitters, with pitchers, it comes with confidence. And you need to succeed usually to have confidence."

Astros: Happy to be home
• With a 2-0 loss to the Pirates on Thursday, Houston's away record moved to 9-32. Things are much better in the comfy confines of Minute Maid Park, where the club is 23-19.

"I can't wait to go home right now," said All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve. "I know we're going to do a little better at home."

Added manager Brad Mills: "I know everybody is making a deal big about the road and home separation, but at the same time we want to play good, solid baseball. We are going home and able to work on some things to definitely make sure we can get back on the right track."

Worth noting
• Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and Roenicke had a conversation before Thursday's 4-0 loss against the Marlins that touched on "a little bit about everything."

"What we can do to improve, what's going to happen here after the break, what are we going to do with our starting pitching," Roenicke said. "So, it's a little of everything."

• Houston will go with an eight-man bullpen until the All-Star break after recalling relief pitcher Enerio Del Rosario from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday. The Astros sent starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel to Oklahoma City in a corresponding move.

MLB.com Comments