|Milwaukee (65-68) «||3||3||2||3||0||1||0||0||x||12||13||0|
The Brewers tied a season high with five home runs. The outburst pulled Milwaukee within 6½ games in the postseason race.
"There's a second wild card. You never know what can happen," Braun said. "You just continue to compete every day. Obviously we'd have to play great baseball for the rest of the year but by no means are we giving up. We realistically think that we are still in it."
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Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he's been paying much more attention to the wild-card standings following his team's recent run of success, including three wins over Pittsburgh.
"I know we are looking ... a lot more than we were a couple of weeks ago," he said. "We're playing really good ball. It gets you excited about getting on a roll and seeing what happens."
"One thing we've got to do, that I haven't seen done since I've been here, is we've got to eliminate some of their comfort at the plate," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "They've been pushing us around for years."
"Every game right now is key," Sanchez said. "We've got to go out there and keep playing baseball, keep trying to have fun out there and continue pushing forward. All we can do is go out there and battle and give everything we've got."
Pirates starter James McDonald (12-7) was tagged for eight runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings. He struck out six, but was tagged for four home runs.
"I actually felt good. The fastball command wasn't bad. They hit good pitches," McDonald said. "I'm not going to make any excuses for what happened. Bottom line is they put the bat on the ball and hit away."
Kameron Loe (5-4) picked up the victory in relief of Gallardo, who failed to complete the fifth inning.
John Axford closed out the game to earn his 23rd save. He came in with two runners on base and recorded three consecutive outs.
"We have hope," Loe said. "We'll take it."
The Pirates touched Gallardo for 11 hits and seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He also walked while throwing a season-high 119 pitches.
"He was out of whack. He's thrown so well for so long. He just had a game where he wasn't on," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "The rhythm wasn't there. We tried to fight through it. We tried to get him through five. Unfortunately, we couldn't do it."
Gallardo entered the game with a major league-leading 22 quality starts. He had won each of his previous six starts, posting a 1.90 ERA during the stretch.
Gallardo said he was struggling with his command even before he took the mound.
"Even in the bullpen, I was battling to find my rhythm and consistency with my release point," he said. "It was a crazy game today but we were able to get the win. That's the important thing."
Braun hit a three-run homer in the first, a 458-foot drive. After McKenry hit a leadoff homer in the second, the Brewers scored three more in the bottom half.
Bianchi had his second homer and Weeks launched a 455-foot shot off the center-field scoreboard. Weeks finished with three hits and scored four times.
McKenry hit a two-run single in the third that pulled Pittsburgh to 6-4. Gomez hit a two-run homer in the bottom half and chased McDonald.
Gallardo homered in the fourth. It was his 10th career home run, extending his franchise record for a pitcher.
Jones hit his 23rd homer in the sixth.
|The Brewers' Ryan Braun hits his MLB-leading 37th home run of the season during the first inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Brock Holt, 2B||5||0||2||1||0||2||0||.400|
|Jose Tabata, LF||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.235|
|Justin Wilson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Resop, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Alex Presley, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.237|
|Tony Watson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Andrew McCutchen, CF||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.344|
|Garrett Jones, RF||3||3||3||1||2||0||0||.286|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||4||1||2||3||1||0||1||.220|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||4||0||0||0||1||1||4||.250|
|Michael McKenry, C||4||2||2||3||1||1||2||.263|
|Josh Harrison, SS||5||0||0||0||0||2||5||.239|
|James McDonald, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.152|
|Chris Leroux, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Travis Snider, PH-LF||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.273|
|a-struck out for Resop in the 8th|
|b-singled for Leroux in the 5th|
|HR - Garrett Jones (23, Loe), Gaby Sanchez (5, Gallardo), Michael McKenry (12, Gallardo)|
|RBI - Brock Holt (1), Garrett Jones (73), Gaby Sanchez 3 (22), Michael McKenry 3 (38)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brock Holt (1), Gaby Sanchez (8), Michael McKenry 2 (12)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Alvarez-Holt-G. Sanchez|
|E - Pedro Alvarez (22, Misplayed grounder)|
|James McDonald (L,12-7)||2.2||6||8||7||1||6||4||3.90|
|HBP - Hart (by Chris Leroux), Ramirez (by Tony Watson)|
|Pitches-Strikes - James McDonald 63-40, Chris Leroux 29-18, Justin Wilson 25-17, Chris Resop 21-14, Tony Watson 16-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James McDonald 1-2, Chris Leroux 2-0, Justin Wilson 3-0, Chris Resop 3-2|
|Batters Faced - James McDonald 16, Chris Leroux 8, Justin Wilson 7, Chris Resop 6, Tony Watson 4|
|Norichika Aoki, RF||3||3||1||0||2||0||1||.285|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||4||3||2||1||0||0||.227|
|Ryan Braun, LF||5||1||2||3||0||2||3||.310|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||0||2||3||0||1||0||.294|
|Corey Hart, 1B||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.276|
|Martin Maldonado, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||4||.269|
|Carlos Gomez, CF||4||1||1||2||0||1||2||.257|
|Jeff Bianchi, SS||4||1||2||1||0||0||0||.226|
|Yovani Gallardo, P||2||1||1||1||0||1||0||.155|
|Kameron Loe, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Francisco Rodriguez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Eric Farris, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Veras, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Manny Parra, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|John Axford, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Rodriguez in the 7th|
|2B - Corey Hart (32, McDonald)|
|HR - Rickie Weeks (14, McDonald), Ryan Braun (37, McDonald), Carlos Gomez (15, McDonald), Jeff Bianchi (2, McDonald), Yovani Gallardo (1, Leroux)|
|SH - Kameron Loe (1)|
|RBI - Rickie Weeks 2 (47), Ryan Braun 3 (95), Aramis Ramirez 3 (89), Carlos Gomez 2 (42), Jeff Bianchi (5), Yovani Gallardo (8)|
|2-OUT RBI - Rickie Weeks 2 (19), Carlos Gomez 2 (24)|
|SB - Norichika Aoki (22, 2nd base off Leroux/McKenry), Rickie Weeks 2 (12, 2nd base off Leroux/McKenry, 2nd base off Wilson/McKenry)|
|CS - Rickie Weeks (2, 2nd base by Watson/McKenry)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Bianchi-Weeks-Hart|
|Kameron Loe (W,5-4)||1.1||1||1||1||0||0||1||3.64|
|John Axford (S,23)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.98|
|Pitches-Strikes - Yovani Gallardo 119-68, Kameron Loe 22-15, Francisco Rodriguez 9-7, Jose Veras 13-9, Manny Parra 10-4, John Axford 15-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yovani Gallardo 4-5, Kameron Loe 3-1, Jose Veras 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Yovani Gallardo 28, Kameron Loe 5, Francisco Rodriguez 3, Jose Veras 3, Manny Parra 2, John Axford 3|
|Attendance - 32728|
|Game Time - 3:38|
|Temperature - 76|
|Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Tim McClelland, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|