Cardinals blow up against Yovani Gallardo

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Yovani Gallardo had only surrendered as many as three homers in a game once before, that coming when he gave up four against St. Louis last Sept. 1. On Friday, he allowed three homers in an inning to the very same Cardinals team.

Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday took Gallardo deep consecutively, and David Freese followed with a two-run shot after a Lance Berkman walk, giving the Cardinals a 5-2 lead in the third inning against the Brewers.

Gallardo had already allowed a solo homer to Yadier Molina in the second, so he’s tied that career-high with four homers allowed for the game.

Update: Gallardo finally exited in the fourth with the score 6-2. He walked five and allowed three hits besides the four homers, making it a minor miracle that he gave up just the six runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Yu Darvish suffers setback during rehab start

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Cubs starter Yu Darvish suffered a setback during Sunday’s rehab start with Low-A South Bend, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg reports. Darvish threw just 19 pitches in the first inning and felt fine. However, when he took the mound to warm up ahead of the second inning, Darvish “felt something” in his injured right elbow. He exited the game to undergo an MRI.

Darvish’s condition isn’t yet known, but it’s obviously bad news. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million contract in February and has made just eight starts this season. He owns a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks in 40 innings and hasn’t pitched since May 20.

Darvish said he hopes to return before the end of the regular season to help the team. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein is realistic about the situation. He said, “It’s a process. We’ll see how he feels. It’s been a long road back, so there’s no point in rushing it now. We probably have one chance given where we are on the calendar to get this right, so that’s the priority.”

Mike Montgomery has pitched out of the rotation in Darvish’s place but he is also currently on the disabled list. Tyler Chatwood, with a 5.22 ERA and 93 walks in 101 2/3 innings, was booted from the rotation at the end of July after the Cubs acquired Cole Hamels. The Cubs, entering Sunday 20 games over .500 and fewer than five games ahead of the Cardinals and Brewers in the NL Central, need some reliability at the back of the rotation.