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ARI@MIL: Montero's two-run single puts D-backs ahead

MILWAUKEE -- Before Tuesday night, Zach Duke had started 11 games at Miller Park in his career.

The D-backs lefty did not have a win to show for it and neither did the team he was pitching for.

Duke brought both streaks to an end, as he tossed seven quality innings to lead the D-backs past the Brewers, 7-3, in front of 34,972.

"I know I've had some bad games here," said Duke, who entered with an 8.13 ERA at Miller Park. "I've had some good games here, but it hasn't worked out where I've gotten a win out of it. I finally did, so that monkey is off my back."

After dropping two of three in Oakland on the first leg of this three-city trip that winds up this weekend in St. Louis, the D-backs have beaten the Brewers in two straight and will go for a sweep on Wednesday afternoon.

It was the first time that the Brewers lost back-to-back home games this season.

"We don't really pay attention to things like that," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We know who the Brewers are and we know they're a very, very good team, very formidable and we just go out and play hard and hope that we come out on top, and we were fortunate to have done that tonight."

After falling behind 6-1 Monday before a stirring rally, the D-backs did just the opposite Tuesday, as they scored four runs in the first inning against Milwaukee starter Randy Wolf (6-6).

Gibson had lamented in recent days that his club seemed to live and die with the home run. Tuesday's first inning was the opposite, as the D-backs showed patience at the plate and put together the rally with four singles.

The key hit was a two-run single to right-center by Miguel Montero.

Prior to the game, Gibson and hitting coach Don Baylor had discussed being more selective at the plate with Montero, particularly early in the game. Montero followed those instructions, jumping ahead of Wolf 2-0 before lining the single.

"I tried to be a little more selective and get a better pitch to hit, and he gave me a good pitch to hit," Montero said. "At the same time it's tough, Wolf's a good pitcher, he's been doing it for years and that was a lucky one there. It was [a] 2-0 with a fastball pretty much middle, and I was just thinking stay through the middle."

Duke was a little shaky in the first inning, issuing a leadoff walk to Rickie Weeks, who eventually came around to score, but after allowing that first-inning run he did not allow another hit until the sixth.

"He was working ahead in the count, he got early outs, even when he got behind he made good, quality pitches," Montero said. "He was pretty good today, man. The sinker was working pretty good and he kept the changeup down."

Duke (2-3) allowed five hits and two runs over seven innings of work.

"That's tough, when you have a nice little run to your ball and you're staying on that outside corner," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "He pitched a nice ballgame."

Of the 21 outs that Duke recorded, a whopping 14 came on the ground, and he kept the game moving at a good pace.

"When I'm good that's how I throw," Duke said. "The ball's on the ground, and I'm ahead in the count and kind of dictating the action."

Duke began the season on the disabled list after suffering a broken left hand in Spring Training. After an outstanding performance in his first start of the year May 28 against the Astros, it has been a bit of a struggle for Duke, who entered the game with a 5.92 ERA.

"I feel like I've been close the past few times, things haven't quite worked out for me," Duke said. "I definitely feel like the work that I've been doing is on the right path and I'm going to keep doing." Comments