After a bit of a rough stretch, the Milwaukee Brewers are surging again.
Milwaukee (15-5) followed a nine-game winning streak by dropping three of four before it won the final three of a four-game set at Pittsburgh. The Brewers returned home Monday to win 4-3 over San Diego (9-11) in their third consecutive contest decided by one run.
Aramis Ramirez hit a solo homer and Ryan Braun added two RBIs for the Brewers, who have the majors' best record.
''They have a good-hitting team over there," losing pitcher Andrew Cashner said.
Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez went 1 for 3 with a walk Monday, and learned Tuesday he had been suspended three games for his role in Sunday's brawl with Pittsburgh. Catcher Martin Maldonado was also handed a five-game suspension.
Braun is 6 for 12 with three homers and six RBIs in the last three games, and he's batting .391 (18 for 46) with 12 RBIs in his last 13 at home against San Diego.
After not allowing a run to win his first two starts, Gallardo (2-0, 1.46 ERA) yielded two in each of his last two. He gave up a two-run homer and two other hits over six innings of an 11-2 loss at Pittsburgh on Thursday.
"It's the same: He keeps us in the game," manager Ron Roenicke told the Brewers' official website.
The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA in four starts in San Diego but 1-2 with a 7.58 ERA in four against the Padres at Miller Park.
Yonder Alonso is 6 for 15 with a homer and a double against Gallardo, and he had two hits with an RBI as the Padres dropped their second in a row Monday. The first baseman is also 6 for 15 with four RBIs in his last four games at Miller Park.
The Padres have been held to three or fewer runs in each contest during a stretch of three losses in five games.
San Diego starter Ian Kennedy (1-3, 4.13) has not pitched poorly but has received five runs of support while on the mound. The right-hander didn't allow a hit through five innings Thursday before giving up three runs in the seventh and four hits on the night during a 3-1 loss to Colorado.
Kennedy struggled against the Brewers last season, going 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in two starts. Braun is 4 for 12 with a homer and a double in their matchups.
Gomez, who is 2 for 6 against Kennedy, is 12 for 22 with five doubles in his last six games against San Diego.
Milwaukee closer Francisco Rodriguez expects to be available after he recorded his fourth save in as many days in the opener. The veteran has not allowed a run over 11 innings while converting all eight save chances.
''I feel that I get better the more I throw," Rodriguez said.