But the Brewers’ bats may get a chance to break out once more against the shaky Jeremy Sowers(notes), who could have his hands full keeping up with Milwaukee’s offense - and its emerging young starter - on Tuesday night.
Cleveland (29-37) appeared to be on its way to a fourth victory in five games on Monday after it scored four runs in the sixth inning to jump ahead of the Brewers 12-7.
Instead, the Indians’ bullpen imploded. Cleveland’s relief corps had a 1.64 ERA in its previous seven games, allowing four runs in 22 innings, but it gave up twice that to Milwaukee. Prince Fielder’s(notes) first career grand slam was the highlight of a six-run eighth and the Brewers scored eight runs total against the Indians’ bullpen in a wild 14-12 win.
“Everybody feels better about themselves after a game like this,” said left fielder Ryan Braun, who tripled, homered and had five RBIs. “It’s a special night, one of those nights you have to enjoy. They don’t come around very often.”
Braun and Fielder combined to drive in 11 runs, and they also walked twice. Overall, Milwaukee (35-29) was issued seven free passes, giving Cleveland’s pitching staff a major league-high 261 for the season.
“Overall, we had a very bad night on the mound,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We continually put ourselves in tough situations. They kept coming and we kept making it all the tougher on ourselves. Eventually, they got us.”
Offense, however, may be a bit harder to generate against Gallardo (6-3, 2.88 ERA). The right-hander has limited opponents to a .189 batting average - second in baseball behind Arizona’s Dan Haren(notes) (.188) - and he has a 1.03 ERA in his previous four starts.
Gallardo wasn’t great in his last outing, though, walking four while surrendering three hits and two runs over five innings in a 5-4 loss to Colorado on Thursday.
He’s never faced the Indians.
Sowers (1-3, 5.10) has never pitched against Milwaukee, and Cleveland could certainly use a solid effort from its starter after its bullpen’s struggles from Monday.
The left-hander, however, hasn’t pitched deep in any of his six starts. He’s lasted six innings only once, and he went five Thursday against Kansas City, giving up two runs and six hits as the Indians won 4-3 in 10 innings.
“Ideally, I’d like to extend my innings more,” Sowers told the Indians’ official Web site. “I’m running into trouble with high-pitch innings. But we kept the game close.”
Sowers has been far better at Progressive Field than he’s been on the road. He’s 1-1 with a 3.79 ERA in four games - three starts - in Cleveland, while he’s 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA away from home.
The Indians have lost five straight against the Brewers.