ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Yovani Gallardo gave up three hits in seven innings, Martin Maldonado tied a career-high with four RBIs and the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers avoided a three-game sweep by beating David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays 5-0 Wednesday.
Gallardo (6-5) retired 13 in a row at one point, en route to moving past Ben Sheets into sole possession of fifth place on the Brewers career list with 87 wins.
Maldonado also drove in four runs on Oct. 2, 2012 against San Diego.
Price (11-8), the subject of trade speculation heading into Thursday’s deadline for non-waiver deals, had his bid to win a team-record seventh consecutive start dashed after allowing four runs and seven hits over seven innings. The left-hander shares the franchise mark of six straight wins with Matt Moore and Scott Kazmir.
The Rays lost for just the second time in their last 13 games. A victory Wednesday would have lifted Tampa Bay (53-55) to .500 for the first time since late April.
Maldonado put the Brewers up 2-0 with a two-run single in the second, an inning that included two walks. It was just the second time this season Price walked a pair in the same inning.
After Aramis Ramirez had a third-inning run-scoring single, Maldonado made it 4-0 when he drove in a run with a double in the sixth.
Maldonado got his third hit on an RBI single in the eighth.
Gallardo won for the first time since beating Arizona on June 19 to stop a six-start winless streak.
Jeremy Jeffress gave up two of his three hits in the ninth before Zach Duke walked Logan Forsythe to load the bases with two out. Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez entered and got his 31st save by striking out Yunel Escobar.
Price had gone eight or more innings in eight of his previous nine starts.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (12-6) is scheduled to face Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (13-5) in the start of a three-game series between two of the top NL Central teams Friday night in St. Louis.
Rays: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (0-0), coming off right elbow surgery in January, will make his third start of the season Friday night against Los Angeles Angels RHP Matt Shoemaker (8-3).
“This is my last start for the Rays …. IN JULY!!!” — Price, causing a brief stir on twitter 4 1/2 hours before Wednesday’s first pitch.