While the Cincinnati Reds appear to be heating up, the banged-up Milwaukee Brewers continue to struggle.
The Reds look for a third consecutive victory while trying to hand the Brewers a fourth straight defeat Tuesday night at Miller Park.
Bronson Arroyo struck out nine over 6 2-3 innings and Jay Bruce extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a three-run homer as Cincinnati (15-13) won for the sixth time in eight games, 6-1 at Milwaukee on Monday. The Reds have won 11 of 16 since starting 4-8.
Cincinnati. which plated five runs in the fourth inning, has scored at least five in three of the last four games.
"We can hit as a team," Bruce said. "We're a good hitting team."
Cincinnati snapped a four-game skid to Milwaukee (12-17), which has scored 12 runs while dropping five of six to fall into a last-place tie in the NL Central.
The Brewers' latest defeat came hours after the team announced shortstop Alex Gonzalez would undergo season-ending knee surgery. Milwaukee is already without first baseman Mat Gamel (torn ACL), outfielder Carlos Gomez (hamstring) and starting pitcher Chris Narveson (torn rotator cuff).
"You try not to be down," owner Mark Attanasio told the Brewers' official website. "Everybody has to keep their spirits up because we're trying to win this year. We still have an enormously talented team that we all believe is going to start playing better."
Yovani Gallardo (1-3, 5.79 ERA) hopes to avoid a third straight losing start when he takes the mound for the Brewers.
After giving up eight runs and eight hits in two innings of a 13-1 loss at St. Louis on April 27, Gallardo was better when he allowed all three of his runs in the third, and walked three in six innings of a 5-0 loss at San Diego on Wednesday.
"It just seems that it's always that one inning that things don't go the way I want it to," Gallardo said.
The right-hander should be glad to return to Miller Park, where he's yielded three runs and struck out 15 over 14 innings in his last two starts. Gallardo, however, has failed to factor in the decision of either outing while his teammates have totaled four runs with him on the mound in those games.
He is 1-1 with a 5.34 ERA in 11 starts versus Cincinnati.
Bruce is batting .471 (8 for 17) with a homer against Gallardo, and .405 (15 for 37) with six of his nine home runs and 12 RBIs during his 10-game hitting streak.
Scheduled Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (1-2, 3.77) has allowed three runs in each and gone at least six innings while not receiving a decision in his last two starts. All three he allowed were home runs over six innings of a 4-3, 10-inning win over Chicago on his 26th birthday Thursday.
The right-hander has yet to win in eight starts against the Brewers, going 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA over that span.
Ryan Braun, a .250 lifetime hitter with a home run versus Bailey, had two hits and homered for the ninth time Monday. Five of Braun's nine hits in his last 24 at_bats have left the park.
Teammate Rickie Weeks is 3 for 29 with eight strikeouts in his last eight games, but is 10 for 17 with a home run versus Bailey.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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