PHOENIX -- Only in this strange Brewers season could an otherwise uplifting win, one that included another stellar start from Yovani Gallardo, three home runs from the hitters and four double plays from the defense, produce a postgame quote like this from the manager:
"It's been crazy," Milwaukee's Ron Roenicke said. "We can't even enjoy a win."
The cost of a 7-1 win over the D-backs was shortstop Cesar Izturis, who was on the 15-day disabled list before anyone could push play on the stereo in the visitors' clubhouse at Chase Field. Yes, the Brewers have won back-to-back games for the first time in two weeks, but they have also lost a player to the DL in each of those games. Starting pitcher Marco Estrada strained his quadriceps two days earlier.Six members of the Opening Day roster have hit the DL this season. Three are presumed lost for the year. "I feel like once a week we have somebody go down," said right fielder Corey Hart, whose two-run home run in the eighth inning gave the Brewers some breathing room. "It's very frustrating. It's a battle for us right now. We're trying to fire away as a club, but at the same time, there's so many new faces because things happen." Hart and the rest of the healthy Brewers will play on, amid what they view as signs of a turnaround. Gallardo outdueled Arizona's Ian Kennedy on Friday in a rematch of Games 1 and 5 of last year's National League Division Series, with Gallardo delivering a 7 1/3-inning, one-run gem. It was his fifth consecutive quality start and continued a stretch of 16 games in which Brewers starting pitchers own a 3.06 ERA. Gallardo was backed by home runs from Rickie Weeks, who entered the night five for his last 52 but put the Brewers on the board with a solo shot in the second inning, Ryan Braun, who celebrated his five-year anniversary in the Majors with a two-run homer, and Hart, who connected against Arizona reliever Josh Collmenter, a pitcher who was a pain in the Brewers' neck last season. Izturis and Travis Ishikawa added RBIs from the bottom third of the Brewers' batting order. Milwaukee outhit Arizona, 12-5. "The total lineup is producing more," Roenicke said. "And the guys we need to swing well, are swinging. Rickie is coming along. Brauny is still good. Corey has been big for us. So, that sets up everything right." Braun has been the Brewers' steadiest offensive player. His opposite-field home run was his 13th long ball this season and 174th of his career. Since his May 25, 2007, debut in San Diego, Braun leads all players with 1,725 total bases and 397 extra-base hits. For Gallardo, the season has been more uneven. But he's always managed to deliver a gem against the D-backs. Including his two NLDS outings, Gallardo is 7-0 with a 1.23 ERA in eight meaningful starts against Arizona, including 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA in four starts at Chase Field. "He's pitched good against us," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "You've got to play well, you've got to hold tight and make the most of your opportunities. We hit into four double plays tonight and we weren't able to hold them down, we weren't able to capitalize on our opportunities, as well."
Friday marked Gallardo's fifth consecutive quality start since his eight-run, two-inning struggle in St. Louis on April 27. He has a 2.59 ERA in that stretch.Gallardo escaped a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth inning and teamed with reliever Francisco Rodriguez to escape a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth. Rodriguez induced the fourth of the Brewers' double plays. Gallardo's outing marked only the second time this season that a Brewers starter worked into the eighth inning. Zack Greinke owned the other such outing, a May 9 win over the Reds, in which he allowed only two hits in eight scoreless innings. "The guys behind me made some great plays whenever we needed to," Gallardo said. "We turned some double plays and ran some fly balls down." The Brewers improved to 19-26, and the D-backs fell to 20-26. It's been a disappointing start to the season for both clubs, each winners of their division in 2011. "They're kind of similar to us right now, trying to find their way," Hart said. "They're a good team. Just like us, trying to find a groove. We were able to score early and Yo was dominant. That allowed us to calm down."