Brewers pay a visit to sputtering D'backs

9:37 AM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Yovani Gallardo is set to make a start against one of the clubs he has been linked to amidst trade speculation, as the Milwaukee Brewers open a four-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks Thursday at Chase Field.

Gallardo is coming off a win over the New York Mets on Saturday when he fanned six batters and allowed four runs over six innings. After not allowing an earned run over three straight starts last month, Gallardo has given up three runs or more in each of his last three outings. However, the right-hander insists his focus level has not wavered.

"You can think about (the trade rumors) all you want, but there's nothing you can do," Gallardo said. "There's really nothing you can do. You just have to go out there and pitch, and then wait around to see what happens.

"It's already hard enough to pitch at this level to begin with, so the last thing you need is to be thinking about things like that."

Meanwhile, Arizona will turn to southpaw Wade Miley, who is also coming off a win on Saturday as he limited the Colorado Rockies to one run on five hits over eight innings of work. Of course, it also helped that his offense put 11 runs on the board in that victory.

"The way we were hitting, you just want to go right after guys and get the offense back in as quick as possible," Miley said. "That was my mentality, not try to do too much."

Miley will hope for the bats to come back to life after the team suffered a three-game home sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. Wednesday's series finale lasted more than five hours and L.A. came out on top thanks to back-to-back home runs by Hanley Ramirez and A.J. Ellis in the 14th inning.

The NL West-leading D'backs now lead the Dodgers by only 1 1/2 games after beginning that series with a 4 1/2-game cushion.

Meanwhile, Milwaukee missed out on a chance to sweep the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday as they dropped the series finale, 6-2. Starter Johnny Hellweg made his third big league start and lost for the third time, as he walked five batters and hit one more. The Brewers offense had no answer for Cincinnati's Mike Leake, who pitched 8 1/3 solid innings.

Fortunately for Milwaukee, outfielders Ryan Braun and Norichika Aoki are expected to return to the starting lineup for Thursday's series opener after sitting out Wednesday's loss. Aoki is nursing a stiff left elbow, while Braun is being eased back into the lineup after missing 22 games with an inflamed nerve in his right hand. Of course, Braun is also dealing with the increasing likelihood of a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to multiple reports.

Arizona swept a three-game series in Milwaukee when these teams met in April.

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