PHOENIX -- Another quality start, another series victory, and another day closer to October.
That was the reality for the Brewers on Thursday, when Yovani Gallardo kept things rolling in a 4-1 win over the D-backs at Chase Field. Gallardo pitched seven innings for the third straight start, Carlos Gomez extended baseball's longest current streak of reaching base and Francisco Rodriguez added to his Major League-leading save count.
After rebounding from a series loss at home to the Reds by taking three of four in Arizona, the Brewers have now won or split eight of their last nine series, and are 8-3-1 in road series this season. At 14 games over .500, Milwaukee will open a series at Coors Field on Friday night on truly high ground.
"We've got the feeling like every time we get to the ballpark we're going to win. That's really fun," said Gomez. "The game just finished, and I'm excited to play tomorrow. We've been so good, we want to spend more time in the stadium than at home."
Gomez's eighth-inning single extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games, and his streak of reaching base safely to 32, matching Robin Yount for the sixth-best such run in franchise history. Aramis Ramirez delivered the Brewers' first hit in the fifth inning to spark a two-run rally, and added an RBI in the sixth. Elian Herrera added an RBI of his own while starting in place of a resting Ryan Braun, as the Brewers won with their usual two- and three-hole hitters -- Braun and Jonathan Lucroy -- getting a day off.
That was largely thanks to Gallardo, who allowed a run on five hits with no walks and four strikeouts to run his record to 8-0 lifetime against the D-backs, including one win in the 2011 National League Division Series. Over his last three starts, all Brewers victories, he has allowed only two runs on 15 hits with three walks and 20 strikeouts, all on the heels of a five-inning, six-run stinker against the Twins on June 3.
Asked about beating Arizona again, Gallardo shrugged.
"Sometimes you look at it, that's just how this game is," he said. "There's certain things like that I wish I could explain, but I can't. Going into today, the previous two starts, I've been feeling good. I've been throwing the ball pretty well and just keeping the ball down and locating it. It all starts with that."
With his 86th victory in a Brewers uniform, Gallardo tied Ben Sheets for fifth-most in franchise history.
"Their pitching's outstanding and they beat us," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I don't know what more I could say."
It took Brewers hitters a while to get going against D-backs rookie right-hander Chase Anderson. He didn't allow a hit and faced the minimum 12 batters through four scoreless innings before Ramirez doubled leading off a two-run rally in the fifth.
Arizona answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, but Gallardo limited the damage to one run and found himself again with a two-run cushion after Ramirez hit an RBI single in the sixth. Gomez struck out his first three times up before hitting his RBI single in the eighth to finish the scoring.
Rodriguez worked around a hit in the ninth inning, inducing a game-ending double play for his 23rd save this season and No. 327 in his career, pushing Rodriguez past Roberto Hernandez and into sole possession of 14th place on baseball's all-time list.
"I think anytime we come here and play well it's a plus. We have struggled here," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "So I hope they take it into Colorado. It starts with what we're doing on the mound. [If] we pitch well there, I think we're swinging the bats well enough that we'll be able to score some runs."
The Brewers are assured of departing Colorado in first place in the NL Central with more than half the road schedule in the books.
Gomez insisted he was not surprised.
"We've felt like that from the start," said Gomez. "We were looking around, looking at other teams, and I don't think any team has a better lineup than us. Our starting rotation is really solid. The bullpen has no names, but everybody does their job. We can be struggling a couple games, and then we kick back right away. When you do that, when September comes up, you're going to be in good position to take it to the next level."