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CHC@MIL: Gallardo fans nine over seven solid innings

It's safe to say the Brewers and the Cubs have become even more familiar with one another recently.

Aside from being division rivals, the two clubs are facing off for the second series in the past week.

Milwaukee swept last week's slate against Chicago and started this week's series off with a 15-4 toppling of the Cubs on Monday night.

"We win and lose as a team, so everyone feels that, everyone felt that long [nine-run ninth] inning, everyone feels this loss," Chicago's Brett Jackson said. "It's tough for the guys on the mound just as it was tough for the guys on the field. We'll pick each other up tomorrow. We're going to have fun with this series. We have three more games against them. The beauty of baseball is you always have tomorrow."

The Brewers, 11-3 against the Cubs, will look continue their winning ways against the North Siders on Tuesday with a rematch of Wednesday's pitching battle that worked out in their favor.

Yovani Gallardo takes the mound after slinging seven stellar Wednesday, giving up just two runs on four hits while striking out nine. It was the fifth straight start Gallardo threw at least seven innings.

The 26-year-old righty hasn't lost since July 26, and is 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA since Zack Greinke was dealt to the Angels at the Trade Deadline.

Gallardo has done it all amid a family emergency, as his mother, Eulalia, was hospitalized last week with an illness. After pitching Aug. 17 against the Phillies, Gallardo went to Fort Worth, Texas, to be with his mother before returning to Miller Park a few days later.

"Everything is good," Gallardo said. "I just am so thankful I could go back home and make sure things were good. It relaxes you a little bit, so all you have to worry about is going out there and making pitches. I'm very grateful that the organization let me go back for a couple of days."

He'll take his 6-2 record and 3.10 lifetime ERA against the Cubs into Tuesday's game, opposing Travis Wood, who, contrary to Gallardo's recent work, hasn't won a game since July 6, spanning nine starts.

Wood lasted seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits in last Wednesday's matchup, but received the loss.

"He's a good pitcher," Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun said of Wood after their most recent meeting. "He's got good command to both sides of the plate and he threw a good cutter that's tough to differentiate. We had a couple of doubles in the first inning, but other than that, he pretty much shut us down."

Wood is 3-1 with a 3.31 ERA in his career against Milwaukee.

Brewers: Callups likely after Labor Day
Manager Ron Roenicke said the club will likely wait until after Triple-A Nashville closes out its season on Labor Day before making its September callups.

After last year's limited callup list, Roenicke said he's been in discussion with general manager Doug Melvin and assistant GM Gord Ash about potential candidates for this year's roster spots.

"Last year was strictly to help us win," Roenicke said. "We didn't want to have a lot of guys up there, just because we liked the atmosphere and how it was going. This year, some of it may be to reward somebody, some of it may be to see a guy, to see if he's in the plans for next year, and with the pitching, we'll need a couple of starters."

Roenicke said the long exception may be an extra arm in the bullpen.

• Brewers prospect Khris Davis has been invited to the Arizona Fall League, according to a tweet from agent Lou Nero of Octagon Baseball.

The 25-year-old outfielder is hitting .339 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs in his first 76 games with three Minor League affiliates.

Cubs: Sveum focuses on progress, not stats
With the postseason out of the question, the Cubs are doing all they can to salvage everything from the games they have remaining.

The club sits well behind in the National League Central, but has a squad made of up of predominantly young players trying to make a name for themselves in the Majors.

"We're super young right now. That's part of the gig and we knew it," said manager Dale Sveum. "I'm not going to lie to you and say it doesn't get frustrating to lose and be behind in ballgames constantly. ... Obviously, no one wants to lose 100 games, but you have to plug away every single day to grind it out."

Chicago is 6-19 in August, but Sveum said the rest of the 2012 campaign isn't about the statistics anymore. The first-year skipper said the staff is always keeping an eye on player progress with hopes of a brighter future.

"When you're watching development in the big leagues, the thing you have to be careful of is worrying about production and the stats and all that stuff," he said. "When [the players] are here for a short amount of time ... you're not worried about their stats, you're worried about what you see -- the bat speed, the intelligence, the willingness and ability to make adjustments when things are out of whack. Those are things you're judging and evaluating more than the stats."

Worth noting
• Milwaukee's Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are looking to become the first three teammates to finish in the top three in extra-base hits in a season since the Yankees' Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Bill Skowron in 1960.

• The Cubs have used 16 different rookies, 10 of which made their Major League debut. Of the 16, nine are pitchers, which is tied with the Padres for the most in the NL. Comments