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MIL@CIN: Gallardo holds Reds to two runs over seven

It'll be two pitchers trending in opposite directions as the Mets and Brewers continue their series at Miller Park on Friday night.

Yovani Gallardo will get the start for Milwaukee, and he'll be looking for his first win since June 19. He's been streaky this season, and the right-hander is planted firmly in a funk entering Friday.

In his last four starts, dating back to June 29, Gallardo's ERA is 6.17, and he's averaging a homer allowed per game.

His latest rocky outing came in a no-decision at Washington in which he gave up four runs but still managed to last six innings. He had trouble locating his curveball, leaving one high in the zone for a Ryan Zimmerman home run and another in the dirt for a run-scoring wild pitch.

Despite Gallardo's recent struggles, the vibe in the Brewers clubhouse has been different since the All-Star break. Milwaukee has won six of eight after a stretch in which it dropped 11 of 12 games.

"It's a little different," manager Ron Roenicke said of the atmosphere around his club. "Guys try to stay positive during tough times, but yeah, it's different. There's more laughter and the guys are more relaxed. They still try to do it [when not playing well], but it's certainly a better feeling."

Zach Wheeler will take the mound as the Mets aim to bounce back from the series-opening defeat. In his second big league season, Wheeler is 5-8 with a 3.78 ERA.

Wheeler's lone blemish in his last start, at San Diego, was a solo homer off the bat of Yasmani Grandal. But the Padres threatened several times, racking up eight hits, the most Wheeler's allowed this season.

"My command was a little off and I wish I hadn't let up that run, but sometimes you've got to give the hitter credit," Wheeler said. "Grandal hit a really good pitch."

The one run Wheeler allowed against San Diego matches the damage against him in the three starts prior to that one. He's thrown at least six innings in the span of his last four starts and has a 1.42 ERA over that time to show for it.

Mets: Familia earning Collins' trust
Entering Thursday, Mets setup man Jeurys Familia hadn't allowed a single run in the month of July.

As a result, New York skipper Terry Collins has felt more and more comfortable when giving him the ball. Collins said the key for Familia has been an increased command of the strike zone.

"I don't ever think it's automatic, but I'm certainly very relaxed when I bring him in," Collins said. "I take great comfort in the fact that I know that you're going to have to swing the bat to beat him. At the beginning of the year, one of the things that worried us most was that he was going to fall behind in the count.

"That feeling's gone now. We know he's going to make him swing the bat. I'll tell you, [Wednesday], that might be as good as stuff we've seen him have in a while."

Brewers: Team looking at relievers but could stay put
With the non-waiver Trade Deadline now under a week away, Milwaukee still seems to be in the mix to add a bullpen arm. But manager Ron Roenicke said his club is fine for the stretch run in its current form.

"There's discussions going on and depending on your team and where you are and which way you're looking, some guys don't know if they're going to be there in a few days," Roenicke said.

Roenicke also cautioned that making a move simply to make a move can often cause more harm than good.

"Sometimes, you get somebody and they don't really help you a whole lot," Roenicke said.

Worth noting
The Brewers have won three consecutive games against New York and six of the last eight meetings.

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