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Pittsburgh at Milwaukee

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Pittsburgh (11-10)000000000020
Milwaukee (11-10) «00000010x161

Gallardo homers, K's 11 as Brewers take three more from Bucs

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Yovani Gallardo didn't start opening day, but that didn't shield him from expectations: If the Milwaukee Brewers are going anywhere this season, the 23-year-old will have to become their ace.

And for the third outing in a row, Gallardo looked every bit the part. He struck out a career-high 11 and homered in the seventh inning as the Brewers swept the Pittsburgh Pirates -- again -- with a 1-0 victory Wednesday.

"I'll be fast," Brewers manager Ken Macha joked afterward. "Hitting? Gallardo. Pitching? Gallardo. Any questions?"

Gallardo (3-1) didn't allow a runner until Andy LaRoche doubled with two outs in the fifth, giving up a total of two hits and a walk in eight innings. Gallardo, who threw his first complete game in a victory at Houston on Friday, has allowed a total of two runs in his past three starts.

Gallardo said he doesn't feel additional pressure to become the team's ace after the departure of free agents CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets, but does feel a significant sense of responsibility to his teammates.

"It's always great to hear everybody in this clubhouse say that, and the fans," Gallardo said. "For me, it helps me work a little bit harder, be more aggressive and go out there and get the job done."

Milwaukee has won 15 straight against Pittsburgh, a streak that goes back to last May 22. It's the longest winning streak by one team against another since Oakland beat Seattle 15 straight in 2006.

"They've got our number," Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell said. "They're a good team."

Snell (1-3) was overshadowed by Gallardo but also delivered a dominant outing, holding the Brewers to four hits and no runs through the first six innings.

Gallardo provided his own offense in the seventh, hitting an 0-2 pitch from Snell deep into left field.

It was Gallardo's second home run of the season and fourth of his career -- the most hit by a pitcher for the Brewers, who moved to the National League in 1998. Gallardo also hit a game-winning home run off Randy Johnson on April 8 in a victory at San Francisco.

According to STATS LLC, Gallardo is the first pitcher to homer for the game's only run since Aug. 28, 2002, when Odalis Perez did it for the Los Angeles Dodgers at home against Arizona.

"It's just fun," Gallardo said. "I'm sure I'll be in the batting cage and on the field joking about it."

Milwaukee started 4-9, but ran its record to 11-10 with Wednesday's victory. Macha called Gallardo "pretty much lights out" lately but said he does have concerns about wearing out his young pitcher, who missed most of last season because of injuries.

"We really needed him to get that far out in the game today with the amount of bullpen usage we've been having lately," Macha said. "So if you're going to classify somebody an ace pitcher, that's somebody who goes out there and tells the bullpen, 'Take a rest for the day.' "

Carlos Villanueva pitched the ninth for his second save in five chances, as Macha didn't want to pitch closer Trevor Hoffman three days in a row fresh off his stint on the disabled list.

Notes

  • Snell struck out Ryan Braun three times, then chided the young slugger for his comments earlier in the week. "You shouldn't say stuff like that," Snell said. "You should just keep your mouth shut because it might come back to bite you in the butt." Braun was angry after being hit by a pitch Monday and seemed ready for a confrontation when he said, "Tell Mr. (commissioner Bud) Selig, we'll see what happens. It's going to be interesting."
  • The Brewers placed C Mike Rivera on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle after Wednesday's game. No corresponding roster move was immediately announced.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Yovani Gallardo wins after doing himself a favor by notching Milwaukee's only run with a solo shot.  (AP)
Yovani Gallardo wins after doing himself a favor by notching Milwaukee's only run with a solo shot. (AP)

Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, CF4000021 .307
Freddy Sanchez, 2B4000000 .337
Brandon Moss, LF4000011 .203
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000021 .269
Eric Hinske, RF2000120 .263
Andy LaRoche, 3B3010002 .254
Ramon Vazquez, SS3000021 .171
Robinzon Diaz, C3010010 .333
Ian Snell, P2000010 .200
   a- Craig Monroe, PH1000011 .276
    Tyler Yates, P0000000 .000
Totals30020112  
a-struck out for Snell in the 8th
Batting
2B - Andy LaRoche (7, Gallardo), Robinzon Diaz (1, Gallardo)
Team LOB - 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (L,1-3) 7511451 3.72
Tyler Yates 1100010 8.59
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 130-79, Tyler Yates 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 5-10, Tyler Yates 2-0
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 29, Tyler Yates 4
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3000100 .259
Chris Duffy, CF3010101 .100
Ryan Braun, LF4000032 .333
Prince Fielder, 1B3020100 .243
Corey Hart, RF4010014 .295
J.J. Hardy, SS4000013 .164
Bill Hall, 3B2010111 .303
Jason Kendall, C3000003 .164
Yovani Gallardo, P3111001 .333
    Carlos Villanueva, P00000001.000
Totals2916146  
Batting
2B - Chris Duffy (1, Snell), Prince Fielder (5, Yates), Corey Hart (6, Snell)
HR - Yovani Gallardo (2, Snell)
RBI - Yovani Gallardo (4)
CS - Rickie Weeks (2, 2nd base by Snell/Diaz)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - J.J. Hardy (2, Throwing)
Milwaukee Brewers
Yovani Gallardo (W,3-1) 82001110 2.86
Carlos Villanueva (S,2) 1000010 6.17
Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 116-74, Carlos Villanueva 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 7-7, Carlos Villanueva 2-0
Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 28, Carlos Villanueva 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29791
Game Time - 2:55
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Wally Bell