The Brewers right-hander will try to continue his recent success against the Chicago Cubs and claim a share of the major league-wins lead Tuesday night.
Milwaukee (38-29) won 24 of 32 to pass St. Louis in the standings and reached the top of the division for the first time since July 9, 2009, on Sunday. The Brewers, however, couldn’t keep rolling in the opener of a four-game series at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs (26-39) prevailed 1-0 as Darwin Barney(notes) scored on Aramis Ramirez’s(notes) grounder, avoiding Jonathan Lucroy’s(notes) tag on his slide into the plate. The loss dropped Milwaukee back into a tie with St. Louis in the Central.
“We needed an unbelievable slide from him,” manager Mike Quade said after the Cubs won for the fourth time in 17 games. “He got a great jump, great slide.”
The Brewers could bounce back with help from Gallardo (8-3, 3.96 ERA), who has won six of his last seven outings. That one defeat, though, came Thursday against the New York Mets as he gave up four runs and 10 hits over four innings.
“They just got enough bat on the ball and hit it where no one was playing, but it’s going to happen,” Gallardo told the team’s official website. “It’s the first time that I’ve felt like that in awhile. I just got to keep moving forward and get in that rhythm.”
Gallardo is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts against the Cubs, but gave up four runs over five innings in a 6-5 win April 10.
He’s 3-1 with a 3.61 ERA in eight career matchups with Chicago, and matched a career high with 12 strikeouts in his last start at Wrigley on Aug. 2. He also allowed one run and two hits over his six innings in that game.
The right-hander is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA since recovering from a forearm strain and gave up three runs in 2 1-3 innings of a rain-shortened start Thursday in Philadelphia.
Wells has gone 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA in six starts against Milwaukee and gave up seven runs over four innings in his previous matchup, the 18-1 defeat to Gallardo at Wrigley.
Cubs second baseman Jeff Baler went 1-for-3 in his return from the disabled list Monday after being sidelined with a strained groin. Chicago may get Alfonso Soriano(notes), who has a team-high 12 homers, back later this week as he continues rehabbing a strained quad at Triple-A Iowa.