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Brewers back to .500 with win over Pirates

by

PITTSBURGH (TSN-WSAU) - Rickie Weeks and Jody Gerut each hit two- run homers, as the Milwaukee Brewers handled the Pittsburgh Pirates, 8-0, in the middle installment of a three-game series at PNC Park.

Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 with a solo home run for the Brewers, who have won three straight and took an 8-1 decision in the opener of this series on Tuesday. Alcides Escobar tripled twice and scored a pair of runs for the victors.

Yovani Gallardo (1-2) tossed five scoreless innings, giving up three hits and fanning a season-high 10 batters. The right-hander improved to 4-2 in nine appearances (eight starts) against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh, which was limited to four hits, has lost two in a row since a three-game winning streak.

Pirates starter Zach Duke (2-1) got rocked in five-plus frames, allowing seven runs -- six earned -- on seven hits. The lefty was attempting to become the first Pittsburgh starting pitcher to win at least his first three decisions since 2007, when Tom Gorzelanny went 3-0 in his first four starts.

Braun got the Brewers on the board with a solo homer to left in the top of the first inning.

The Pirates failed to score in the home half after putting men on first and third with two outs.

Milwaukee added another run in the fourth to go ahead 2-0. Carlos Gomez reached first on second baseman Akinori Iwamura's fielding error. Braun then singled to right to put men on the corners. Prince Fielder stepped to the plate and grounded out, but Gomez scored on the play. Duke was able to retire two of the next three batters to limit the damage.

The Brewers plated three more runs in the fifth to make it a 5-0 game. Escobar tripled down the left field line and scored when Weeks smacked a first-pitch curveball over the wall in left. Gomez doubled in front of walks by Braun and Fielder to load the bases. Casey McGehee was thrown out on a soft grounder in front of the plate, but a speedy Gomez crossed the plate on the play.

Duke continued to struggle in the sixth, as the left-hander gave up another leadoff triple to Escobar. Pinch-hitter Gerut stepped to the plate and laced a first-pitch curveball into the seats in right to make it 7-0. Duke exited the contest after hitting Weeks with a pitch. Evan Meek got Gomez to ground into a double play and McGehee to go down swinging to end the frame.

Pittsburgh stranded men on first and second in the bottom of the sixth.

Corey Hart accounted for the final margin with an RBI double in the ninth.

The Brewers and Pirates wrap up their series in Pittsburgh with a 11:30am game on Thursday.

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