SAN DIEGO -- A five-run spurt in the second inning provided the Milwaukee Brewers enough of a cushion to record their first nine-game winning streak in 10 years.
Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy each drove in two runs, and the Brewers posted their ninth consecutive victory, a 6-3 decision over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
The last time Milwaukee had a nine-game winning streak was Aug. 19-28, 2003.
Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo (2-1) went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking five and striking out two in an erratic performance that had manager Ron Roenicke scratching his head.
"It was a struggle," said Roenicke, who was ejected by home plate umpire Gary Darling for arguing balls and strikes in the fifth inning. "He just didn't have any pitches working. Sixth inning? Really good. He busted out a change-up. Seventh inning? Really good the first two batters. He had two good change-ups to (Will) Venable and then he just lost it.
"But I was glad to see at least somewhere in there he got it together."
Gallardo acknowledged he didn't have his best stuff.
"Being a starting pitcher you're never going to feel great every night," Gallardo said. "But you try to get as deep as you can. Throw strikes. Those middle innings I was able to do that. The guys played great behind me."
Milwaukee's bullpen also had his back. Tom Gorzelanny relieved Gallardo and struck out Yonder Alonso on three pitches with the bases loaded in the seventh, John Axford pitched a scoreless inning and closer Jim Henderson pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.
"The bullpen is unbelievable," Roenicke said. "All I see is zeros every time they come in. That's why we've been winning."
The Brewers (11-8) scored all of their runs in the first two innings. San Diego starter Clayton Richard (0-2) lasted only 1 2/3 innings, giving up all six runs on six hits and two walks, one of them intentional. Milwaukee's five-run spurt in the second inning resulted in his undoing.
"It's one of those outings where it is a tough one," Richard said.
It was San Diego's fifth straight defeat and its seventh loss in eight outings at home. The Padres (5-15) haven't won at Petco Park since the home opener, when they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3 on April 9.
"Our guys are playing hard," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "There are 140 games left and we are still in April. We have dug ourselves a hole. We have to worry about ourselves. We have to get our starting pitching in order, we have to continue to play good, sound defense, which we are.
"There are no secrets here. We have to play in sync."
Milwaukee shortstop Jean Segura went 3-for-5 with an RBI, a run and a stolen base. It was the ninth multi-hit game in 18 this season for Segura.
"He is really playing well," Roenicke said. "He is a phenomenal athlete."
The Brewers jumped ahead 1-0 in the first, when Ryan Braun's groundout scored Segura, who tripled.
The Padres answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Quentin lined a single off the third base bag into left, scoring Venable. Alonso followed with a bloop single to center that plated Chase Headley.
The Brewers, though, regained the lead in the second on Betancourt's two-run single to right for a 3-2 advantage. Segura's groundout to short scored Betancourt to make it 4-2.
After an intentional walk to Braun loaded the bases, Lucroy chased Richard with a two-run double to left, bringing home Alex Gonzalez and Norichika Aoki to increase the margin to 6-2.
The Brewers sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Venable's RBI single to right scored Nick Hundley to cut the gap to 6-3.
NOTES: Quentin returned after serving an eight-game suspension for his role in the April 11 brawl between the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers, which resulted in pitcher Zack Greinke suffering a broken collarbone. "What happened happened; I'm ready to move on," Quentin told reporters before the game. "Any baseball player who wants to be with his team and being unable to play. ... I'm happy to be back. I'm just looking forward to providing as much offense as I can." ... Padres reliever Thad Weber replaced Richard and threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Brad Brach, Dale Thayer and Huston Street each followed with one shutout inning. ... The game drew an announced crowd of 19,560 at Petco Park.