Yovani Gallardo handcuffs Giants in Brewers’ 6-0 victory

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Yovani Gallardo tossed eight scoreless innings to become baseball’s fourth seven-game winner as the Brewers beat the Giants 6-0 on Sunday.

Gallardo, who opened the season with a 6.10 ERA in seven starts, joined Jon Lester, Kevin Correia and Cole Hamels at seven victories.  He’s 5-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last five outings.

With Gallardo had 109 pitches, manager Ron Roenicke declined to let him go for his second shutout of the season.  LaTroy Hawkins finished up with a scoreless ninth.

The Giants have been shut out twice and scored a total of seven runs while losing three out of four games since Buster Posey suffered a season-ending ankle injury.  They gave Brandon Belt his first start today, and he went 1-for-3 while batting sixth.  All six of the team’s hits were singles.

Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun both had three hits as the Brewers won for the eighth time in nine games to improve to 29-24 on the season.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.