Given Ted Lilly's recent success against the Milwaukee Brewers, a game in Miller Park would seem to give the Chicago Cubs left-hander a good chance to avoid the longest losing streak of his career.
The red-hot Yovani Gallardo could make getting that elusive win a little more difficult.While Lilly goes for his first win since his season debut -- when he beat Milwaukee for the third straight time -- Gallardo searches for his seventh consecutive victory Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series.Last Tuesday, Lilly (1-5, 3.61 ERA) lost his fifth straight decision -- matching his career-worst streak from 2001 -- and again got little support from his teammates. He has received an average of 2.24 runs this season.He held a one-run lead at Pittsburgh before giving up the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning of a 3-2 loss."We needed just one more out from Lilly," manager Lou Piniella said. "We didn't get it. He pitched a good ballgame."Lilly threw a very good one in his first start of the season, a 5-1 win in Milwaukee on April 24, as he allowed three hits over six scoreless innings. He has a 1.47 ERA in winning his last three starts against the Brewers.Lilly is looking to avoid equaling the longest skid by a Cubs pitcher since Ryan Dempster -- then a reliever -- dropped his final six decisions of 2006.However, Lilly might have to outduel Gallardo (6-2, 2.64), who is 6-0 with a 1.86 ERA since losing at Pittsburgh on April 21. It's the longest win streak by a Brewers pitcher since CC Sabathia's 9-0 run in 2008.The right-hander won his second consecutive start Wednesday in Florida, allowing two runs over seven innings and hitting his second homer of the season in a 7-4 victory."When I come in (and Gallardo is pitching), I say to myself, 'We are going to win today,'" center fielder Carlos Gomez told the Brewers' official website.The latest win by Gallardo was one of only two for Milwaukee (23-34) on a seven-game road trip. The other came in the finale, 4-3 over St. Louis on Sunday.The Brewers have won both of their series at home since an eight-game losing streak at Miller Park. Their 4-14 start there included a three-game sweep to the Cubs from April 23-25 as Milwaukee was outscored 25-4.Over the last four seasons, the Cubs are 19-8 in Milwaukee, including victories in two rescheduled games against Houston in 2008.Gallardo won his only home start against the Cubs on May 9, 2009, allowing two runs and striking out eight over five innings in a 12-6 win. However, he was tagged for seven runs over 5 1/3 innings in his most recent outing against Chicago, a 13-7 loss Sept. 15.The Cubs (26-31) have totaled at least 10 hits in the past three games. They won two of them following a four-game skid during which they were held to five runs and 23 hits.This series caps a nine-game road trip and comes after Chicago beat Pittsburgh 6-1 on Monday in a rescheduled game.Marlon Byrd went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and is batting .588 in his last four games. Ryan Theriot added two hits and a career-high four runs while reaching base five times."We finally put some runs on the board," Piniella told the Cubs' official website. "It's really what you need to do to beat these teams with any sort of consistency."