PITTSBURGH -- Ian Snell is learning how to pitch inside to major league hitters and seeing the results.
Snell struck out 10 to tie his career high and Freddy Sanchez got three hits to raise his NL-leading batting average to .342, sending the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
"A great performance by Ian Snell," Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. "He did something today that was very impressive. His effectiveness of pitching inside helped him immensely with his curveball and his slider down and away that he had very good command of, which was evidenced by the fact that he walked one and had 10 strikeouts."
Snell (13-10) became the first Pirates pitcher to win as many as 13 games in a season since 1999, when Todd Ritchie won 15.
"I was actually throwing inside and changing eye levels to all the hitters," Snell said. "I wasn't throwing a lot of the same pitches to the same hitters."
Snell said he has always had a fear of throwing inside since he hit and seriously injured a batter when he was young.
But Snell said pitching coach Jim Colborn has helped him get over that fear, and Snell rebounded Wednesday after two consecutive losses.
Salomon Torres worked the ninth for his seventh save -- all coming in the Pirates' last seven victories.
Sanchez is now hitting .342. He hit his 47th double, tying the team record for right-handed batters set by Adam Comorosky in 1930.
Prince Fielder had three hits and drove in two runs for Milwaukee, which lost for the fifth time in six games.
After Fielder hit an RBI double in the first, the Pirates took the lead for good in third with three runs off Chris Capuano (11-11). Sanchez had a sacrifice fly, Paulino doubled home a run and Jose Castillo had a sacrifice fly.
"Paulino had three different opportunities in his first three at-bats," Tracy said "Each time he came up, he had runners on first and second and cashed in on two of the three. You're not going to get it done every single time but when situations present themselves, if your percentage of efficiency is where it needs to be in order to help your ballclub be good, you're in business."
But the Pirates added three in the sixth with two outs, chasing Capuano. Sanchez singled home scored Duffy, and Paulino hit a two-run double.
Capuano has lost three consecutive starts and has won only once since July 6, going 1-7.
"I definitely felt off with my command," Capuano said. "Today was very frustrating for me, but I have been throwing the ball well since the end of July, really. This is just a bump in the road. I've got three starts left and am hoping to finish strong."
The Brewers added a run in the eighth on Fielder's double.
"Snell's tough," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He's given us problems every time we've faced him. We just couldn't do much against him."
- The last doubleheader between the Pirates and the Brewers was on July 2, 2004.
- The Pirates are 10-0 when Duffy scores two or more runs in a game.
- The Brewers' Corey Hart has hit safely in 13 of 14 games.