By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jun 06, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Two months ago, there was a small group ready to dig the white flags out of the storage bin after the Brewers opened the season with four straight losses. Times certainly have changed.

Since May 8, when the Brewers were 14-20 and 5.5 games behind St. Louis, they've gone 19-6, the best record in the majors during that stretch, and enter play Monday in second place, just two games behind the Cardinals.

Entering play Monday, the Brewers are six games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2009, when they were 42-36.

What's the secret? Well, the pitching has been outstanding lately. Brewers starters are 15-4 with a 3.65 ERA over the last 27 games and have posted 17 quality starts.

The bullpen has continued to do its job despite a revolving door at times and has allowed just 13 runs in the last 63 innings of work.

The offense, though still not clicking entirely, has improved, too. Prince Fielder,  Yuniesky Betancourt and Nyjer Morgan are all hitting .300 or better on the current road trip and Corey Hart (8 for 23, 1 home run, 4 RBI) has been especially hot.

Ryan Braun has been fairly quiet on the trip but did deliver a pinch-hit, game-winning home run Friday. He and Fielder enter tonight's game leading MLB in combined RBI with 87.

More than anything, though, it's that the Brewers are finally looking like the team general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke had in mind during Spring Training, before a rash of injures kept key players out of the lineup.

"That's the key in baseball," Chris Narveson said Sunday after pitching six innings in the Brewers' 6-5 victory at Florida. "Some teams have had some tough injuries. If you can stay healthy and put your best players out there, it definitely gives you a better opportunity to win."

Braun thinks the current hot streak is just a precursor to bigger and better things down the road.

"I think from the beginning of the year, we felt really good about the team we had," Braun said. "We knew we were going to have success. Early in the year, we dealt with a lot of injuries and adversity early on. I think the fact that we've overcome that speaks volumes about our character as a group of men. We really believe in ourselves and that we're going to have a special season."

Gallardo stays hot: Yovani Gallardo is enjoying a hot streak of his own.

The right-hander won his sixth straight Saturday, improving his record to 8-2 on the year, and saw his ERA drop 3.72. He's allowed just six earned runs during that stretch (41 innings) and has 39 strikeouts to just 14 walks.

"I've been throwing the ball pretty good," Gallardo told after the game. "It's just a matter of keeping that same rhythm going forward."

Gallardo is the first Brewers pitcher to win six in a row since 1992, when rookie Cal Eldred won 10 consecutive games.

Braun leads NL All-Star voting: Braun leads all National League players in All-Star balloting, according to the most recent numbers released by Major League Baseball.

Braun has 1,588,342 votes so far and appears likely to start his franchise-record fourth consecutive All-Star Game.

Second baseman Rickie Weeks is still second at his position with 982,561 and trails the Reds' Brandon Phillips (1,331,568). Fielder is currently third among first basemen with 943,364 votes.

Fans can vote for All-Stars online through June 30. Rosters for the 82nd All-Star Game, to be played July 12 in Phoenix, will be announced Sunday, July 3.

Draft day: The Brewers will have two first-round selections Monday night when the MLB First-year Player Draft gets underway in Secaucus, N.J. In addition to the 12th overall pick, the Brewers will get a compensatory pick at No. 15 since last year's first-round choice, Dylan Covey, chose to attend the University of San Diego instead of signing.

This is the third time the Brewers have picked 12th and the second they've picked 15th.

The draft continues Tuesday and Wednesday with rounds 2-50.

Injury report: Utility man Erick Almonte returned from the 7-day DL and accepted an outright assignment to Class AAA Nashville ...

On the farm: A number of Brewers prospects are heading to their respective all-star games:

Wisconsin (Class A Midwest League)

  • Chris Dennis, DH
  • Mike Walker, OF
  • Austin Ross, P
  • Tyler Thornburg, P

Brevard County (Class A Florida State League)

  • Khris Davis, OF
  • Scooter Gennett, 2B
  • Nick Bucci, RHP

The Brewers also announced their minor league players of the month for May. IF Hunter Morris was named player of the month after hitting a combined .330 with 2 home runs, 14 RBI and 11 doubles in 26 games with the Manatees and Class AA Huntsville.

Thornburg was named the organization's pitcher of the month after posting a 4-0 record with an 0.51 ERA in six starts for the Timber Rattlers.

Quick hits: Nyjer Morgan's home run Saturday was his first since July 28, 2009 ... The Brewers' three victories in Florida mark the first time they've won three in a row on the road this season ... Heading into Sunday, Brewers pinch hitters hit safely in six of their last 10 attempts with two home runs ... The Brewers are 5-1 in games started by Zack Greinke ... Milwaukee has allowed three grand slams in the last 11 games ... Rickie Weeks hit his 100th career home run Sunday ... Sunday's victory gave the Brewers 999 since joining the National League prior to the 1998 season ... Houston released former Brewers infielder Bill Hall over the weekend.

This week: The Brewers and Marlins wrap up a four-game, wrap-around series tonight in Miami then head home to open a six-game homestand against the Mets and division-leading Cardinals.