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Brewers run past Pirates 6-0

Yovani Gallardo won his eighth consecutive decision, mowing down the Pirates on two hits over six-plus innings as the surging Milwaukee Brewers stole seven bases and ran past the Bucs 6-0 on a chilly night at PNC Park.

The Pirates had no answer for Gallardo (16-8), who limited the home team to two singles and four walks while striking out four. At one point, he retired 14 straight.

Pirates’ starter A.J. Burnett turned in another solid effort, but labored early. Burnett (15-8) hit batters to lead off the first two innings and had to work his way out of jams in both frames, throwing 51 pitches as Milwaukee had a 1-0 lead after two.

Burnett opened the second by plunking Travis Ishikawa. Carlos Gomez followed with a single and eight-hole hitter Jean Segura walked to load the bases. Gallardo struck out, but Norichika Aoki singled to knock in Ishikawa. Burnett reached back and fanned Rickie Weeks, bringing up Ryan Braun with two outs and the bases juiced, but the former MVP grounded out to short to minimize the damage.

In typical Burnett fashion, he got into a groove in the middle innings. Thanks in part to three double plays, he faced just one over the minimum from late in the second through the fifth, allowing only singles to Aoki and Braun.

“He fought a lot,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Burnett. “Fifty-one pitches in two innings? He wrestled. But he absolutely kept us in the game.”

Burnett allowed seven hits and a pair of runs in six innings.

The score remained 1-0 Milwaukee until the Brewers added to their lead in the sixth. Jonathan Lucroy opened with a single to center and one out later, the visitors caught a bit of a break when Gomez dribbled a weak grounder toward first base. Garrett Jones fielded it, but missed the tag when Gomez jumped far to his right and nearly went out of the baseline. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle argued to no avail, and Segura’s single made the score 2-0 when Lucroy scored just ahead of Andrew McCutchen’s throw.

The Brewers had 13 hits – all singles. With seven stolen bases, they hardly needed an extra base hit. Milwaukee has stolen 18 bases in their last four games against Pittsburgh.

“They have really good team speed,” acknowledged Hurdle. “We’re not the only team they’ve been able to steal against. But they’ve been able to really pile it on against us… It’s been a season-long thing. Our men have got to find a way to stop it.” 

Meanwhile, the Pirates threatened just twice. They loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but Burnett grounded out weakly to end the frame. They also had the bases full in the seventh—on a fielder’s choice, a walk and a single—but pinch-hitter Michael McKenry popped up for the third out.

The Brewers increased the lead to 4-0 in the seventh on singles from Weeks, Braun and Lucroy. They scored two more in the eighth off Bryan Morris to end the scoring.

ON DECK
Rookie Kyle McPherson (0-0, 1.54 ERA) makes his first major league start on Wednesday for the Pirates, taking on Milwaukee’s Marco Estrada (3-6, 3.77 ERA).

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