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MIL@HOU: Gallardo strikes out eight over 7 2/3

Since giving up seven earned runs to the Nationals on July 26, Yovani Gallardo has been every bit the dominant pitcher the Brewers have grown accustomed to, and they hope he can keep it up on Friday night against the Phillies.

Gallardo has given up just five combined runs in his three starts since, and lasted at least seven innings each time. He scattered nine hits against the Astros in his previous start, but struck out eight.

The win was the third in a row for Gallardo, two of which came against the Astros -- he tossed seven innings of one-run ball in Milwaukee's 10-1 win over Houston on July 31. The right-hander improved to 13-2 lifetime against the Astros with a 2.68 ERA in 100 2/3 innings.

"I really try not to look at the numbers like that," Gallardo said after the start. "They made me work today. It seemed like it was a lot of 3-2 counts, and they were taking some good pitches and fouling off some good pitches. They've got some pretty good hitters."

But unfortunately for Gallardo, the Brewers can't face the Astros every time he takes the mound as Milwaukee will square off against Philadelphia on Friday.

Vance Worley will take the hill for the Phillies looking to rebound from some recent struggles. Worley lasted just 5 1/3 innings against St. Louis his last time out, and just 3 2/3 innings against Atlanta in his previous start. He surrendered a combined eight runs and scattered 15 hits -- though it was discovered after the loss to Atlanta that he was dealing with a stomach bug.

Brewers: Early BP pays off for Braun
For Ryan Braun, maybe some extra batting practice was the answer.

From Aug. 1 through Tuesday, when Braun went 0-for-5, including a game-ending flyout with the tying run on base, he was 9-for-47 (.191) with no home runs in 49 plate appearances. After taking the day off on Wednesday, he took early batting practice before Thursday's series opener against Philadelphia to try and shake the slump.

Thursday's results certainly speak for themselves -- Braun hit solo home runs off Cliff Lee in each of his first two at-bats.

"I'm big on my routine. I've always said you don't have control over results, focus on process, that type of thing, so I don't like to break my routine too often," Braun said before Thursday's game. "But every once in a while, when things aren't going well, it makes sense to come out and take a little early BP."

Phillies: Galvis' suspension ends
Second baseman Freddy Galvis' 50-game suspension for using a performance-enhancing substance came to a close Thursday. But Phillies fans shouldn't expect to see him anytime soon.

Galvis will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a strained lower back. There is a possibility that he could play in Instructional League, but is expected to play winter ball in Venezuela.

Worth noting
• With his home run on Thursday, Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez has hit safely in 10 of 12 games this month. He has four multi-hit games in that span. Comments