The Milwaukee Brewers were outpitched by the San Diego Padres in the second game of this series, but they should like their chances in Wednesday night's finale considering Yovani Gallardo's road success and Odrisamer Despaigne's recent slide.
Milwaukee (73-59) missed out on a chance to win six straight away from home for the first time since starting 6-0 on the road, suffering a 4-1 defeat Tuesday. Jimmy Nelson gave up two earned runs over five innings but was outdone by Tyson Ross, who limited Milwaukee to one run and four hits in 6 1-3.
The Brewers still maintained a 1 1/2-game cushion over St. Louis in the NL Central following the Cardinals' 5-2 defeat in Pittsburgh.
Gallardo is 5-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his last seven road starts, winning each of the last three. He's also been good at Petco Park, going 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in four outings.
Gallardo (8-7, 3.38) allowed six runs - three earned - and eight hits over five innings of an 8-3 loss to the Pirates on Friday, falling to 0-3 with a 5.67 ERA in his last five starts at home.
Milwaukee committed two errors behind the right-hander, though he didn't excuse his lack of effectiveness.
"No matter what the situation is, I still have to be out there making pitches," he told MLB's official website. "...I just have to keep the ball down in the zone no matter what happens behind me and keep doing that throughout the game."
Gallardo limited the Padres to one run over seven innings in the Brewers' 2-1, 12-inning home loss April 22.
San Diego (61-70) will counter with Despaigne, who was 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA in his first five career starts but has since gone 1-4 with a 5.81 ERA in six outings. The right-hander lost 5-1 at Arizona on Friday, giving up four runs in five innings.
"The way I pitched, if I feel like that 10 times I would win eight out of 10," Despaigne said.
Like Gallardo, Despaigne (3-5, 3.44) hopes Petco Park will continue to be kind to him, as he owns a 2.45 ERA in five games there.
Rookie hurlers have also fared relatively well against Milwaukee, going 7-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 14 starts.
Will Venable is 7 for 18 with a home run and two doubles when facing Gallardo, but he's 1 for 11 over his last seven games.
Ryan Braun returned to Milwaukee's lineup Tuesday after exiting in the seventh inning Monday when he took a knee to his left quadriceps in a first-base collision. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts to snap a six-game hitting streak.