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Gallardo rebounds from DUI arrest to dominate Giants

The SportsXchange

MILWAUKEE -- In his relatively brief Major League career, Yovani Gallardo has faced plenty of pressure. He has started postseason games, he has anchored a rotation and he has been called upon to halt losing streaks.

Thursday, however, was an entirely different story as Gallardo took the mound barely two days after an early-morning arrest for driving under the influence. He responded with his best outing of the season, holding San Francisco to a single run while scattering five hits over six innings in the Brewers' 7-2 victory at Miller Park.

"I just went out there and focused and pitched," said Gallardo, who admitted he wasn't sure what kind of reception he would get from the home crowd. "Obviously we all know what happened the past few days, and there's nothing I can do about that now. It happened and I've just got to go out there and win ballgames for the club. I don't want to say I approached the game different, but something like that, you have to go out there and prove that you're capable of getting over it."

Heading into the game, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wasn't sure what to expect out of Gallardo, who had scuffled through his first three starts while posting an 0-1 record with a 6.61 ERA.

"He had a different mindset, a different look on his face," Roenicke said. "Yo had something to prove and obviously wasn't happy with what happened a few days ago and he was determined to go out there and do whatever he could to pitch well and he did.

"His velocity was better and he got after it."

Gallardo also helped himself at the plate, belting a two-run home run in the second inning to give the Brewers a 5-0 lead. The homer was one of three allowed Thursday by Giants starter Matt Cain, who struggled early before settling in.

Ryan Braun's first inning two-run homer put the defending World Series champions in an early hole and snapped a 1-for-18 slump that included 11 strikeouts in the past four games.

Cain's struggles continued in the second, when he hit Carlos Gomez with one out. Gomez scored on Yuniesky Betancourt's base hit, which set the stage for Gallardo's home run -- the 11th of his career.

"I was just trying to put it in play," said Gallardo - the Brewers' all-time leader in home runs by a pitcher."

Milwaukee scored twice more in the third on Jonathan Lucroy's second home run of the season, but Cain settled in after that, retiring 11 of the next 12 batters before leaving for a pinch hitter in the seventh.

"He was off early, that was evident" San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "The long ball killed us in games here. We had a lot of trouble keeping the ball in the ball park in this series."

Cain allowed seven runs on seven hits Thursday, continuing a season-long struggle for the Giants' starting rotation, which has a combined 5.04 earned run average through the first 16 games. Cain has been responsible for 18 of the 53 runs allowed by San Francisco starters.

"We've got to do a better job," Cain said. "We don't want to step on each other's toes, but we're all trying to help each other. If somebody wants to say something, that's never going to offend me."

With Cain done for the day, the Giants' bullpen kept Milwaukee off the board, but the Brewers' relievers did the same, including John Axford, who struck out Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence to close out a perfect eighth inning.

"Those guys performed well," Roenicke said. "We needed it. Everything worked out well today."

Alfredo Figardo, making his first appearance since April 9, allowed a leadoff home run to Brandon Crawford and a two-out walk to pinch hitter Andres Torres in the ninth, but got Guillermo Quiroz to ground to short to close out Milwaukee's fourth consecutive victory.

NOTES: After the game, the Brewers optioned right-hander Mike Fiers to Class AAA Nashville and recalled right-hander Hiram Burgos to start Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. ... San Francisco left fielder Gregor Blanco had two hits Thursday, snapping an 0-for-9 slump. ... Betancourt went 1-for-3 Thursday, extending his hitting streak to five games. ... Bochy went with an adjusted lineup, giving regulars Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro a day off. ... Milwaukee swept the Giants for the first time since 2008 ... Crawford fell a triple short of the cycle, but has an 11-game hitting streak.
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