The Brewers looked to avoid falling further behind in the race for the National League Central division on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs.
Gallardo went 2-2 in August with a 2.70 ERA, and his 3.26 ERA on the season is his career best, despite drops in his velocity and strike outs. His ERA is down largely because of his decrease in walks and a large increase in his ground ball rate.
Arrieta has been the ace of the Cubs staff this season, but go beat up for six runs in his previous start in just four innings against the Cincinnati Reds. The last time he faced the Brewers he threw 7 ½ innings and allowed just two runs on five hits.
Unfortunately for the Brewers their freefall continued with anemic offense and poor pitching and defense on route to a 7-1 Cubs win.
It didn’t take long for the Cubs to take advantage of the Brewers. Javier Baez drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the first and moved to second on a Starlin Castro single. Luis Valbuena singled to left to bring in Baez and Jorge Soler singled bring in Castro and give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead.
Welington Castillo followed with a double-play ground ball to short but Elian Herrera kicked it, allowing Valbuena to score, and preventing the Crew from getting an out. Arismendy Alcantara followed with a grounder to Lyle Overbay at first.
Overbay went to Herrera at second for the out, but Herrera threw away the ball going back to first for the double play, allowing Castillo to score and make it 4-0 Cubs in the first inning.
Milwaukee cut the lead to three in the third inning. Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy had back-to-back singles head of a Ryan Braun single to bring in Gennett. Braun was thrown out stealing second on a hit-and-run that Aramis Ramirez swung through, and Ramirez flew out to end the inning with just one run scored.
The Cubs tacked on three more in the fifth with doubles from Valbuena and Castillo ahead of an Alcantara home run (8) to make it 7-1 Cubs.
Gallardo went five innings and allowed seven runs, five earned, on eight hits and two walks. He struck out four to tie him with Ben Sheets for the Brewers all time lead in strike outs.
Arrieta went six innings for the Cubs and allowed one run on five hits and two walks. He struck out four.
In the seventh inning Jason Rogers doubled in his first Major League at bat with two outs in the inning, pinch hitting for reliever Tom Gorzelanny who worked a scoreless sixth inning. That was part of Ron Roenicke’s effort to clear the bench, replacing several of his starters with September call ups.
That was it for either team as the bullpens locked it down and the Cubs cruised to the win. Gallardo took the loss for Milwaukee and Arrieta got the win for the Cubs.