Brewers blast Bucs again, 17-3

Yovani Gallardo did it all in Milwaukee’s latest blowout of the

Pittsburgh Pirates.

Gallardo pitched six strong innings and drove in three runs,

Gregg Zaun matched career highs with four hits and five RBIs, and

the Brewers extended their mastery of Pittsburgh with a 17-3

victory Monday night.

The Brewers have outscored the Pirates 53-4 in their last four

meetings, including a three-game sweep in Pittsburgh last week

during which Milwaukee outscored the Pirates 36-1, including a 20-0

rout on Thursday.

“I just got off a weekend where we were on the other end of

that,” Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said, referencing the Chicago

Cubs’ three-game sweep of the Brewers. “We respect every team we

play. It’s just how teams kind of match up against each

other.”

It was the seventh straight defeat for Pittsburgh. The Pirates

have lost to the Brewers 22 straight times at Miller Park and are

12-37 against Milwaukee overall since 2007.

The Brewers’ home winning streak against Pittsburgh is the

longest by one team over another since the Indians beat the St.

Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles 27 consecutive times from

1952-54.

“I can’t explain it,” Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke said.

The Pirates held a 30-minute, closed-door meeting after the

game.

“At some point it’s got to turn around,” Manager John Russell

said. “It’s a young team, and they need to decide when they want to

do that. It’s not just Milwaukee — everyone’s kicking us

right now.”

Casey McGehee hit a grand slam in a nine-run eighth that also

included a two-run homer by Alcides Escobar and a two-run double by

Zaun.

Gallardo (2-2) gave up two runs (none earned) and five hits in

six innings. He struck out four and walked three.

Duke (2-2) allowed eight earned runs and nine hits in four

innings. Milwaukee tallied 17 hits in all.

“We have to find a way to beat the Cubs. Those guys and St.

Louis are the teams that everybody is picking to finish ahead of

us. So if we want to be playing in October, we have got to figure

out a way to beat them,” Zaun said. “But that doesn’t take away

from the fact that we’ve played some really good baseball against

Pittsburgh, and if we want to play meaningful baseball later on in

the season, we have got to continue doing what we’re doing against

Pittsburgh.”

The Brewers were looking to rebound after Chicago outscored them

25-4 in three games last weekend. They had their ace on the mound,

and at the plate, to do it.

Gallardo was 0 for 8 on the season and a career .183 hitter, but

he has some pop: His four career home runs are the most by a

pitcher in Brewers history.

He showed some pop in the second with a two-out double to score

McGehee and Zaun, who had walked, to make it 2-0.

“At least I have a batting average now,” Gallardo said. “I just

wanted to help myself out. It’s a great feeling to go up there and

get a hit.”

The Brewers sent 10 men to the plate and scored five runs in

the third, including a three-run double by Zaun, who was batting

.157 coming into the game, and an RBI single by Gallardo.

“Six walks. I just couldn’t get anybody out when I needed to,”

Duke said. “It’s frustrating. It’s only 19 games into the season,

but we’ve been through a lot of adversity already.”

Milwaukee sent 12 batters to the plate in the nine-run eighth,

which McGehee capped with his second career slam.

Zaun was just as happy as Gallardo to find success at the

plate.

“It wasn’t one of those things where I was wondering, ‘Am I ever

going to get a hit again?’ I knew why I wasn’t getting hits,” Zaun

said. “It was plain to see. I was really jumping at the pitcher,

and a lot of that had to do with trying to do too much. I was

swinging at a lot of bad pitches early in the season, making really

bad contact.”

Zaun also had a bizarre night behind the plate. Three times in

the first inning he threw wildly past Gallardo, and infielders had

to retrieve the ball each time. On his next accurate throw, he drew

a mock cheer from the crowd.

There was a scary moment in the fourth when Escobar’s bat

shattered after he grounded out, and the sharp barrel flew into the

stands and struck a boy in the head.

A Brewers spokesman said the boy was checked out at first aid

and was fine.

NOTES: Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said the team

will call up RHP Jeff Karstens from Triple-A Indianapolis to start

Tuesday night. OF John Raynor will be designated for assignment.

… Zaun has had four hits and five RBIs three times each in his

career. … Jeff Suppan, demoted from Milwaukee’s starting rotation

Sunday, pitched the ninth in his first relief appearance since Aug.

26, 2003, with Boston.