(Sports Network) - Yovani Gallardo will try to keep his unbeaten streak intact tonight, when he leads the Milwaukee Brewers into the opener of a three-game series vs. the NL Central-rival Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Gallardo opened the 2010 campaign 0-2 with a 5.50 earned run average in his first three starts, but has rebounded profoundly to the tune of a 6-0 record and 1.74 ERA over his last nine outings. Gallardo has pitched no less than five innings in each of his 12 starts this season and defeated Florida the last time out on Wednesday at Sun Life Stadium.
The right-hander held the Marlins to a pair of runs -- one earned -- on four hits and four walks with four K's in seven innings of a 7-4 triumph. Gallardo, who is 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA this season, recorded his first career shutout the previous time out versus the New York Mets on May 28. He is 1-1 in four career starts against the Cubs.
Cubs starter Ted Lilly has been the opposite of Gallardo lately, going 0-5 with a 4.08 earned run average in seven starts since delivering six shutout innings for the win in his 2010 debut at Milwaukee on April 24.
Lilly last pitched in Tuesday's 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh, and was reached for three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings to suffer the loss. The lefty is 4-2 in nine career games (8 starts) against the Brewers.
Chicago is coming off Monday afternoon's 6-1 victory at Pittsburgh in a makeup game of last week's rainout. Carlos Silva improved to 8-0 this season with seven innings of one-run ball and also struck out five batters, becoming the first Cubs starter to begin a season 8-0 since Ken Holtzman started the 1967 campaign with a 9-0 ledger.
"He's been our best pitcher, let's be perfectly clear about that," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "He's stopped some losing streaks. He's been perfect for us; 8-0, I mean, he's won a third of our games."
Marlon Byrd went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs, while Ryan Theriot added two hits and scored four times for Chicago, which won for the second time in seven tries and sit 6 1/2 games off the lead in the Central standings.
Milwaukee ended a three-game losing streak and salvaged the finale of a three- game series with Sunday's 4-3 win in 10 innings at Busch Stadium. Prince Fielder scored on Corey Hart's sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th and Rickie Weeks homered for the Brewers, who are just 2-6 in their last eight contests.
"Rickie is hopefully coming around," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "He's had a little bit of a lull in the action. He had a great April, but May wasn't so kind to him. He's starting to swing the bat a little better."
Fielder ended with three hits and starter Manny Parra did not figure into the decision for yielding two runs on four hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts through 5 1/3 innings. Dave Bush, Kameron Loe, Carlos Villanueva, Zach Braddock and John Axford combined to allow just one run the rest of the way, with Axford picking up his fourth save in the process.
The Brewers will also host Texas on their six-game homestand and hope to end a three-game slide against the Cubs. Chicago leads the 2010 series by a 5-1 count and swept Milwaukee in three games at Miller Park from April 23-25. The Cubs have won 15 of the past 22 matchups between the teams.