Pirates 3, Brewers 1

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates did not beat up on Yovani Gallardo on Wednesday night, but they did beat him.
Thus, the Pirates' 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers ace at PNC Park had to be a little bit more satisfying after being stymied by Gallardo so many times in the past in their home ballpark.
Gallardo had not allowed a run in his last three starts in Pittsburgh, a span covering 17 2/3 innings, and had struck out 21. Furthermore, he had a 10-2 record overall against the Pirates entering Wednesday.
However, Neil Walker's two-run single with the bases loaded in the sixth inning was enough for the Pirates (23-17) to eke out their fifth win in the last six games. They also beat the Brewers (16-22) for the third time in four meetings after losing 10 of their previous 11 games against them.
With the game scoreless, Pittsburgh's Starling Marte led off the sixth a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. One out later, Andrew McCutchen walked and stole second, then Gaby Sanchez walked to load the bases.
Walker followed by lining a single into center field to score Marte and McCutchen.
Wandy Rodriguez was able to withstand Rickie Weeks' solo home run, his third of the season, in the seventh inning to get the win.
A throwing error by Weeks on Walker's two-out grounder enabled Pittsburgh to score an insurance run in the eighth to make it 3-1.
Rodriguez (4-2) gave up only the one run and six hits in seven innings while striking out five and walking one. He is 5-1 in his last eight starts at PNC Park, dating to last season.
Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli finished with one perfect inning each, Grilli improving to 16-for-16 on save opportunities.
Gallardo (3-3) walked four in his six-inning stint but held the Pirates to two runs and three hits. He struck out five in notching just his fourth quality start in nine outings this season.
The Brewers' Norichka Aoki went 2-for-4 and was the only player with multiple hits. The leadoff man is 22-for-50 (.440) in his last 12 games.
Milwaukee is 2-11 in May and 1-5 on its 10-game road trip.
Milwaukee had the best scoring chance in the early innings when Jonathan Lucroy led off the fourth inning with a triple, breaking an 0-for-10 skid. However, he was left stranded when Rodriguez got Carlos Gomez and Weeks to pop out and Alex Gonzalez to ground out.
NOTES: Milwaukee will add right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to their roster before Thursday night's finale of the four-game series. The Brewers re-signed Rodriguez to a minor league contract last month as a free agent, and he had a clause that allowed him to opt out if he was not in the major leagues by Thursday. Rodriguez, who set the major league record with 62 saves for the Los Angeles Angels in 2008, made two relief appearances each with high Class A Brevard County and Triple-A Nashville, pitching a combined four scoreless innings. ... Pittsburgh placed infielder John McDonald on the disabled list due to a strained lower back and recalled infielder Jordy Mercer from Triple-A Indianapolis. Mercer started at shortstop as Clint Barmes got the night off following a 12-inning game Tuesday night. ... Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, who watched the game from the box seats, got a rousing ovation when he was shown on the scoreboard between innings. ... Rookie pitcher Hiram Burgos (1-1, 6.86) will start for the Brewers on Thursday against left-hander Francisco Liriano (1-0, 1.69).

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