Kottaras' Blast Lifts Brewers Past Cubs

By The | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), April 12, 2012 | Go to article overview

Kottaras' Blast Lifts Brewers Past Cubs


The, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


CHICAGO - George Kottaras had the type of afternoon backups dream about.

Kottaras hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, and Yovani Gallardo outdueled Ryan Dempster as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs, 2-1, Wednesday for their third straight win in the four-game series.

Backed by Starlin Castro's first-inning sacrifice fly that followed David DeJesus' double, Dempster (0-1) had a three-hit shutout before Mat Gamel doubled leading off the seventh. Kottaras followed with his second homer this season.

"It was down and in," Kottaras said of the slider, "and I was just trying to stay through the middle, wasn't trying to hit a home run. Just put a good swing on it, and off it went."

Milwaukee gave Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and regular catcher Jonathan Lucroy the day off.

Gallardo (1-1) didn't need much offense. He allowed five hits in seven innings, struck out six and walked two, getting 11 ground- ball outs.

It was a welcomed rebound from an opening-day start in which the 26-year-old right-hander allowed six runs in 3 2/3 innings against World Series champion St. Louis.

"I was a little more aggressive with the fastball down in the strike zone, moving it around in and out," Gallardo said. "The slider was the best slider I've had in a while. I was able to command it and get ground balls whenever I needed them."

Gallardo allowed singles by Ian Stewart and Bryan LaHair starting the seventh, but struck out Geovany Soto and Marlon Byrd and induced an inning-ending groundout from pinch-hitter Blake DeWitt.

"Yovani got better as the game went on," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I thought his last inning was his best inning with his fastball. …

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