|Milwaukee (42-46) «||0||0||0||0||0||4||0||0||x||4||9||0|
Gallardo struck out a career-high 14 in seven innings and the Brewers used a four-run sixth to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 on Sunday.
"It's really like win or go home every game," Gallardo said. "We all know the nine games we have here, the next series with the Cardinals, then the Reds. They're very important."
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Gallardo (8-6) gave up four hits, including Andrew McCutchen's homer in the fourth.
Milwaukee took two of three from the Pirates. St. Louis comes in for three and then the homestand ends with three against the Reds.
Gallardo struck out two in every inning except the sixth when he fanned just one and the side in the seventh.
"Command was probably the best I've had all year," he said. "That really helped."
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle felt that the team took itself out of the game against Gallardo.
"We got in a bad rut here, swinging the bat as far as striking out," Hurdle said. "Gallardo was very good today. We were susceptible to a lot of things he was doing. He had a very sharp breaking ball."
Gallardo won consecutive starts for the second time this season.
Martin Maldonado went 3 for 4 with one RBI for Milwaukee.
John Axford pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
McCutchen, who had three of the Pirates' five hits, hit his 21st homer and fifth in the past four games. He also had two singles. He is batting .560 (28 for 50) with seven homers, 19 runs scored and 16 RBI in past 12 games and leads the majors with a .371 average.
"He is as good a player as there is in the league," Hurdle said. "He is playing at an elite level, all across the board. He has earned his name being in those [MVP] conversations at this point. But it is still early. We've all got work to do."
McCutchen made an impression on Gallardo, too.
"He's on fire," Gallardo said. "He's swinging the bat very well. That home run was a pretty good pitch. It was on the outside part of the plate."
A.J. Burnett (10-3) had his career-high nine-game winning streak ended.
"Things happen. It's baseball," he said. "It's not from a lack of effort. These guys try as hard as they can out there. It just didn't go our way."
It did go the Pirates' way early as Burnett stranded seven runners in scoring position through five innings, but then Milwaukee pushed across four runs and four hits and one error in the sixth.
Nyjer Morgan singled. Ryan Braun singled to right fielder Garrett Jones, whose throw sailed passed the cutoff man and allowed Morgan to score. Braun went to third on the play and scored on Aramis Ramirez's RBI single.
"We didn't defend very well behind him [Burnett] which complicated it," Hurdle said. "The throw and the play at third, those are plays we got to make. We didn't handle the inning very well. A.J. pitched a very, very good ball game today."
Burnett allowed four runs and nine hits and struck out seven in seven innings.
|Yovani Gallardo dominates the Pirates as he strikes out a career-best 14 through seven innings. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Drew Sutton, LF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.275|
|Neil Walker, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.293|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||1||3||1||0||0||1||.371|
|Garrett Jones, RF||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.267|
|Casey McGehee, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||.226|
|Rod Barajas, C||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.215|
|Jordy Mercer, SS||3||0||1||0||0||2||0||.125|
|A.J. Burnett, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.069|
|a- Josh Harrison, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.228|
|Juan Cruz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Burnett in the 8th|
|2B - Jordy Mercer (1, Gallardo)|
|HR - Andrew McCutchen (21, Gallardo)|
|RBI - Andrew McCutchen (64)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|E - Garrett Jones (3, Throwing)|
|A.J. Burnett (L,10-3)||7||9||4||4||0||7||0||3.78|
|Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 82-55, Juan Cruz 21-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 11-3, Juan Cruz 1-2|
|Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 30, Juan Cruz 4|
|Norichika Aoki, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.296|
|Nyjer Morgan, CF||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.228|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.232|
|Ryan Braun, LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.312|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.272|
|Corey Hart, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.263|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||3||1||1||1||1||1||1||.199|
|Martin Maldonado, C||4||0||3||1||0||0||1||.285|
|Jeff Bianchi, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||3||.000|
|Yovani Gallardo, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||4||.079|
|Francisco Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Axford, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|2B - Norichika Aoki (14, Burnett), Rickie Weeks (17, Burnett), Martin Maldonado 2 (3, Burnett, Burnett)|
|SH - Nyjer Morgan (6)|
|RBI - Aramis Ramirez (53), Rickie Weeks (32), Martin Maldonado (18)|
|SB - Aramis Ramirez (4, 2nd base off Burnett/Barajas)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Yovani Gallardo (W,8-6)||7||4||1||1||0||14||1||3.59|
|Francisco Rodriguez (H,18)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.76|
|John Axford (S,16)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||4.71|
|Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 108-71, Francisco Rodriguez 12-9, John Axford 12-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 5-2, Francisco Rodriguez 1-0, John Axford 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 25, Francisco Rodriguez 3, John Axford 4|
|Attendance - 35430|
|Game Time - 2:33|
|Temperature - 85|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Victor Carapazza|