MILWAUKEE -- With Zack Greinke now pitching in the American League, the Milwaukee Brewers have looked to Yovani Gallardo to fill the role as staff ace.
The young right-hander stepped up to the challenge Friday, using a sharp curveball to keep the Phillies' offense at bay -- and adding to his team's offensive effort -- as the Milwaukee Brewers took a 6-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Miller Park.
Gallardo was strong from the start, striking out four in the first two innings and limited Philadelphia to just a run on four hits in eight innings of work, finishing with nine strikeouts and retiring 12 of his last 13 batters.
With the victory, Gallardo improved to 12-8 on the season and his ERA dropped to 3.67. With 154 strikeouts this season, Gallardo ranks sixth in the National League.
In his last four starts, Gallardo is 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 26 strikeouts.
"Yo gets on a roll and he pitches really well for quite a while," Roenicke said. "Hopefully, he can do this the rest of the season."
Phillies batters moved past first base just three times against Gallardo, whose only blemish came on back-to-back double by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard to open the Philadelphia fourth inning.
Utley was the Phillies' lone bright spot on offense, reaching three times -- two walks and a double -- in four trips.
"An outstanding ball game for him," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "Probably the best he's had his curveball all year. He had some nice stuff. Great location on his fastball, threw some nice change-ups, threw some nice cutters. I thought it was a great ball game."
Gallardo was unavailable to speak to reporters after the game. According to Roenicke, Gallardo had a personal matter that required him to travel to his home state of Texas.
"It's an illness in the family," said Roenicke, who confirmed that Gallardo knew of the situation when he took the mound Friday.
Milwaukee erased a 1-0 deficit on Nyjer Morgan's two-run triple in the fourth, made possible when right fielder Dominic Brown misplayed the ball. Worley intentionally walked shortstop Jean Segura to face Gallardo with two outs. With the count 2-2, Worley offered a fastball that Gallardo dropped into right field for a two-run double to give Milwaukee a 4-1 lead.
"Whether that ball was caught or not, I put myself in that situation," Worley said. "I did give up a hit to the pitcher."
Worley worked into the fifth, recording the first two outs before allowing Martin Maldonado to reach on a double and Morgan on a single. In 4 2/3 innings of work, Worley allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Worley (6-8) has struggled of late, allowing 12 runs in his last three starts (11 2/3 innings combined) but insisted that health is not an issue.
"My arm is healthy enough to be out there pitching," Worley said. "It's fine. I'm not hurt. I'm not getting the job with one pitch and it's hurting me."
Milwaukee added two more in the sixth on Ryan Braun's National League-leading 32nd home run of the season. After hitting.191 with no home runs or walks from Aug. 1 through Tuesday, Braun has three home runs in his last two games.
Francisco Rodriguez worked a perfect eighth and Livan Hernandez worked the ninth, allowing a run on two hits, to close out the victory.
NOTES: Brewers right-hander Shaun Marcum threw a bullpen session prior to the game Friday. Marcum will make another rehab start Monday for Class A Wisconsin. He's been on the disabled list since June 23 with tightness in his right elbow ... Philles 1B Ryan Howard went 1-for-4 Monday, and has now hit safely in 11 consecutive starts at Miller Park. During that stretch, Howard is hitting .396 with three doubles, four home runs and 15 RBI ... Gallardo improved to 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA against the Phillies in his career ... Phillies starting pitchers entered play Friday with a 1.39 ERA in their last seven road games. ... Milwaukee has won eight consecutive games at Miller Park. ... Philadelphia OF Juan Pierre needs to steal one base to reach 30 for the season.
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