Rookie Yovani Gallardo is used to seeing big leads disintegrate for Milwaukee. He wouldn't let that happen when the Brewers scored six runs early on against the team with the most wins in the National League.
Bill Hall hit a three-run homer in the first, Gallardo and Prince Fielder added home runs in the second and the pitcher did the rest in a 9-0 win over the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
Fielder drove in four runs for the Brewers, who won for the second time in eight games to pull even with the Cubs in the NL Central.
``I think that's the key for us,'' Fielder said. ``When we score early it helps the whole team.''
Milwaukee led 5-0 against Cincinnati on Sunday and lost 7-6. But there were no such issues against the Diamondbacks thanks to Gallardo, who struck out six in six innings and hit his first major league homer.
``The past couple of starts have been a little bit rough so it's always good to get back in the groove,'' Gallardo said.
In other NL games, it was: St. Louis 6, Chicago 4; San Francisco 8, Florida 7; Atlanta 14, Cincinnati 4; Washington 7, Houston 0; and Pittsburgh 4, Colorado 2.
Gallardo (5-3) allowed five hits and walked one to snap a personal two-game losing streak.
``He wasn't super sharp but he was good enough to get through six shutout innings,'' Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
The Brewers wasted little time scoring against Arizona starter Doug Davis (10-11).
Rickie Weeks led off the game with a walk, Ryan Braun added a two-out walk and Hall homered three rows deep into the left-field stands to give the Brewers a 3-0 lead.
Milwaukee added three more in the second when Gallardo hit a one-out homer and Fielder added a towering two-run, two-out shot to right. Fielder leads the NL with 39 homers.
Davis went just two innings, a season low, and allowed six runs and six hits with two walks and one strikeout. He lost a personal five-game winning streak.
``The control wasn't there,'' Davis said. ``I got behind hitters and I just made some real bad pitches tonight. I got behind every hitter and it seems like when I did get ahead I made a mistake and put it right over the middle for them.''
Carlos Villanueva pitched three innings to complete the five-hitter and earn his first major league save. He was optioned to Triple-A Nashville after the game when Milwaukee promoted reliever Seth McClung.
``I wanted to do it last night but McClung couldn't pitch today and we needed the pitching,'' Yost said.
Fielder added a three-run double off Edgar Gonzalez in the fourth to make it 9-0.
Cardinals 6, Cubs 4
At Chicago, Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel homered, Scott Rolen drove in three runs with a pair of doubles and St. Louis moved within three games of the NL Central lead.
Joel Pineiro (3-1) went five innings to win his third straight start. He allowed three runs and seven hits, including back-to-back homers to Daryle Ward and Mark DeRosa in the second inning.
Cubs starter Ted Lilly (13-6), who was 8-1 in his previous 10 starts, gave up seven hits and five runs over six innings.
Braves 14, Reds 4
At Cincinnati, Mark Teixeira hit a pair of homers for the second straight game and Brian McCann had a first-inning grand slam for the Braves.
With Atlanta's offense fully revved, right-hander Tim Hudson (15-5) improved to 9-0 in his last 11 starts and became the first NL pitcher to reach the 15-win mark.
Phil Dumatrait (0-2) gave up eight runs and seven hits in two innings for Cincinnati. Jeff Keppinger went 3-for-4 and scored three runs.
Giants 8, Marlins 7
At Miami, Bengie Molina drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning with his third RBI single, and last-place San Francisco overcame a four-run deficit to complete a four-game over Florida.
The Giants took the lead for good in the sixth, when Dave Roberts led off with a triple off Ross Wolf (0-1) and came home on a one-out single by Molina.
Jack Taschner (3-1) pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings despite three walks.
Nationals 7, Astros 0
At Houston, Tim Redding (3-3) threw seven shutout innings against his former team, Dmitri Young hit a three-run homer and Washington ended a four-game losing streak.
Jason Jennings (2-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings for Houston, stretching his winless streak to six games. He has just one win in 12 starts since June 19.
Pirates 4, Rockies 2, 11 innings
At Denver, Freddy Sanchez singled in the winning run and Pittsburgh handed Colorado its fifth loss in seven games.
Cesar Izturis drew a leadoff walk off Brian Fuentes (0-5). Nate McLouth bunted him to second and after Fuentes hit Matt Kata on an 0-2 pitch, Sanchez blooped an RBI single to short center field.