Maldonado and Gallardo help Brewers blank Rays
Backup catcher Martin Maldonado had three hits and tied a career high with four RBIs to back seven scoreless innings from Yovani Gallardo as visiting Milwaukee averted a three-game sweep with a 5-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday afternoon.
Gallardo (6-5) ended a six-start winless drought with his first victory since June 19, allowing three hits and striking out five as the Brewers ended a three-game losing streak and handed Tampa Bay only its second loss in 13 games. Aramis Ramirez added two hits and drove in a run and Khris Davis doubled twice to ensure Milwaukee will maintain its lead atop the National League Central.
Rays left-hander David Price (11-8), the subject of numerous trade rumors, had his six-start winning streak halted by yielding four runs - three earned - on seven hits over seven innings. Tampa Bay managed only six singles and was denied in its bid to reach .500 for the first time since April 22.
Price ran into trouble in the second, allowing a leadoff single to Ramirez before issuing a pair of walks to load the bases for Maldonado, who drove a single up the middle to plate two runs. Milwaukee also put the first two runners on in the third before Ramirez singled up the middle to make it 3-0.
The Brewers added to the lead in the sixth when Maldonado ripped a double up the gap in left-center to score Mark Reynolds, marking the first time Price has allowed more than three runs since June 4. Gallardo retired 13 straight and 19 of 20 before back-to-back two-out singles by James Loney and Logan Forsythe in the seventh, but he escaped the threat by inducing Yunel Escobar to ground out.
CREW CUTS: Price, pitching at least seven innings for the 13th consecutive start, dropped to 5-6 in 13 starts at Tropicana Field. ... Maldonado, who entered with three hits in his last 25 at-bats, notched his first three-hit and multi-RBI game since May 30 against the Chicago Cubs. ... Tampa Bay wraps up a nine-game homestand when it hosts the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night while Milwaukee is also off Thursday before heading to St. Louis to open a three-game series.