|Milwaukee (89-63) «||1||0||0||1||0||1||3||4||0||10||10||1|
After tying his single-game career high in strikeouts in his last start, Gallardo surpassed it with 13 and Ryan Braun hit his third home run in two nights to help the Milwaukee Brewers inch closer to a Central Division championship with a 10-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.
|More on Brewers at Reds|
"I had a little trouble with my fastball early in the game," Gallardo said. "It got better as the game went on. I felt like I had a good curveball. I could command the strike zone with it. I was able to throw it to both sides of the plate, and I was able to make the big pitch when I had to."
Yuniesky Betancourt also homered and Gallardo pulled off the rare feat of striking out four batters in one inning as the Brewers lowered their magic number to five with their fourth win in their last five games and St. Louis's loss at Philadelphia.
Any combination of Milwaukee wins and Cardinal losses adding up to five gives the Brewers their first division championship since 1982, when they won the American League East.
Gallardo's previous single-game strikeout high was 12, which he'd reached four times, including last Sunday. He threw 117 pitches, 75 of them strikes, in his six innings, giving up just two hits, one run, and two walks.
Gallardo is one of several Milwaukee pitchers capable of turning in impressive performances down the stretch, manager Ron Roenicke said.
"He can be that guy," Roenicke said. "He's got the stuff to do that."
Gallardo (17-10) became the second pitcher in Milwaukee to strike out four batters in one inning when Brandon Phillips reached on a third-strike wild pitch with two outs in the fifth. Edgar Renteria struck out swinging to end the inning.
Milwaukee grabbed a first inning lead against Reds starter Edinson Volquez. Corey Hart led off by grounding a double between third baseman Juan Francisco and the bag. He moved up on Nyjer Morgan's groundout to second and scored on Braun's broken-bat bloop single to short center field.
Volquez (5-6) has allowed at least one first inning run in nine of his 18 starts. He lasted 6 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and five runs with three walks, six strikeouts and one wild pitch. He also hit a batter.
"It wasn't bad," Volquez said. "I tried to keep the game in line. I made a mistake to Betancourt. I walked one guy, then hit the next. By then, I had too many pitches."
Yonder Alonso tied the score with a home run to lead off the second inning. The 382-foot drive on Gallardo's 3-1 pitch appeared to glance off the glove of leaping center fielder Nyjer Morgan and land in the first row of seats.
The Brewers regained their one-run lead in the fourth on Betancourt's 12th homer of the season, a 391-foot shot into the right-center field seats on a 2-2 pitch with two outs. His two-out single in the sixth drove in Morgan from second, giving Milwaukee a 3-1 lead. Braun added his 31st homer, a three-run shot into the left field seats off of Jose Arredondo, in the seventh.
"I think Braun is at that point in the season -- a lot of the guys are -- where they know where we're at and they're trying to turn it up a notch," Roenicke said. "It's a real good sign that maybe we're going to go on a big roll offensively."
Mark Kotsay had a pinch-hit, three-run double in Milwaukee's four-run eighth, giving the Brewers 16 runs over their last two games.
"If you see it one day, you don't know, but when you see it a couple of days in a row with a lot of guys contributing, it's a good sign," Braun said.
"They beat us up pretty good, and we didn't do much offensively," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, pointing out that the Reds were blown out on the night the team honored Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench. "I don't think we impressed Johnny too much with our performance."
|Corey Hart celebrates after scoring in the first inning against the Reds. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Corey Hart, RF||5||1||1||0||0||2||2||.281|
|Nyjer Morgan, CF-LF||4||2||2||1||0||0||1||.308|
|Ryan Braun, LF||5||1||3||4||0||1||1||.333|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||3||0||1||0||2||1||2||.297|
|Kameron Loe, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Frankie De La Cruz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Casey McGehee, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||2||4||.230|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||4||2||2||2||0||0||2||.251|
|a- Josh Wilson, PH-SS||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.226|
|Jonathan Lucroy, C||3||1||0||0||1||1||2||.264|
|b- Martin Maldonado, PH-C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|Craig Counsell, 2B||3||2||1||0||1||0||0||.172|
|Yovani Gallardo, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.227|
|c- Logan Schafer, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|LaTroy Hawkins, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|d- Mark Kotsay, PH-1B||1||1||1||3||0||0||0||.268|
|a-struck out for Betancourt in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Lucroy in the 9th|
|c-hit a sacrifice bunt for Gallardo in the 7th|
|d-doubled for Hawkins in the 8th|
|2B - Corey Hart (20, Volquez), Mark Kotsay (12, Fisher)|
|HR - Ryan Braun (31, Arredondo), Yuniesky Betancourt (12, Volquez)|
|SH - Logan Schafer (1)|
|RBI - Nyjer Morgan (36), Ryan Braun 4 (103), Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (62), Mark Kotsay 3 (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Nyjer Morgan (12), Ryan Braun 3 (30), Yuniesky Betancourt 2 (27)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Lucroy-Betancourt, McGehee-Wilson-Kotsay|
|E - Yuniesky Betancourt (19, Misplayed grounder)|
|Yovani Gallardo (W,17-10)||6||2||1||1||2||13||1||3.60|
|Frankie De La Cruz||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||2.31|
|WP - Yovani Gallardo (12)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 101-62, LaTroy Hawkins 10-7, Kameron Loe 10-7, Frankie De La Cruz 13-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 3-3, LaTroy Hawkins 2-0, Kameron Loe 1-2, Frankie De La Cruz 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 23, LaTroy Hawkins 3, Kameron Loe 3, Frankie De La Cruz 3|
|Brandon Phillips, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.296|
|Todd Frazier, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Edgar Renteria, SS||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.260|
|Paul Janish, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.206|
|Joey Votto, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||1||0||.320|
|Jay Bruce, RF||3||0||0||0||1||3||4||.259|
|Yonder Alonso, LF||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.364|
|Juan Francisco, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.238|
|Drew Stubbs, CF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.247|
|Travis Wood, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.071|
|Devin Mesoraco, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.174|
|Edinson Volquez, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.130|
|Jose Arredondo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Carlos Fisher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Heisey, CF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.252|
|HR - Yonder Alonso (5, Gallardo)|
|RBI - Yonder Alonso (15)|
|SB - Brandon Phillips (11, 2nd base off Gallardo/Lucroy)|
|CS - Joey Votto (5, 2nd base by Gallardo/Lucroy)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Renteria-Votto|
|E - Drew Stubbs (3, Dropped fly)|
|Edinson Volquez (L,5-6)||6.2||6||5||5||3||6||1||5.87|
|IBB - Fielder by Edinson Volquez|
|HBP - Morgan (by Edinson Volquez)|
|WP - Edinson Volquez (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Edinson Volquez 117-75, Jose Arredondo 8-4, Carlos Fisher 35-18, Travis Wood 24-18|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edinson Volquez 7-6|
|Batters Faced - Edinson Volquez 29, Jose Arredondo 2, Carlos Fisher 8, Travis Wood 4|
|Attendance - 39766|
|Game Time - 3:01|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Tom Hallion, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - Mike Estabrook|