Bucs can't figure out Gallardo in loss
Bullington allows three runs on seven hits in five-plus innings
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates right-hander Bryan Bullington's second career start was a little better than his first, but he still suffered a defeat as the Brewers posted a 6-1 victory over the Bucs at PNC Park on Tuesday.
"Much better performance; a more confident performance from Bryan Bullington tonight as compared to his start last Thursday in St. Louis," manager Jim Tracy said. "[We got] five real good innings, with the exception of the [Prince] Fielder home run, but he's done that to more than just Bryan Bullington. The leadoff walk in the sixth inning kind of opened the gates to setup the three run inning."
Bullington took the loss, falling to 0-2 on the season, after allowing three runs on seven hits in five-plus innings of work.
"There were good things and bad things out there," Bullington said. "Obviously, I missed some locations with some pitches up in the zone -- the home run to Fielder, obviously. I just caught too much of the plate with some fastballs."
Despite the loss, Bullington is eager for another start.
"Yeah, absolutely, you want as many opportunities as you can get," he said. "Hopefully, I'll continue to get better each time I get out there. I felt like my stuff was fine tonight, but in a game like that, the sixth inning was obviously big; the walk to [Rickie] Weeks really hurt me and set the tone for that inning. I need to do a much better job in that situation."
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo grabbed the win, upping his record to 8-4. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings and allowed six hits while recording seven strikeouts.
"There were really two key points offensively -- we had two opportunities," Tracy said. "The fourth inning -- bases loaded with one out -- and the fifth inning -- first and second with one out -- and we had a chance to put ourselves in a decent position, which would have changed the complexion of the whole game. But very similar to what we saw of Gallardo when we faced him on our last trip to Milwaukee, he did the exact same thing that we saw him do in that start.
"We had him pinned to the wall a bit in the seventh inning of that game in Milwaukee and he struck out [Josh] Phelps and he struck out [Nate] McLouth, and tonight -- bases loaded, one out -- he got the ground ball. And then in the fifth inning, he strikes out McLouth and he strikes out [Freddy] Sanchez. To his credit, he's a very solid pitcher. He has four pitches and he was throwing them all for strikes."
"I wouldn't say he's anymore difficult than anybody else," Jose Bautista said. "I think he just pitched a good game tonight. He was hitting his spots and keeping guys off balance a little bit and mixing in all four of his pitches."
The Brewers got to Bullington in the top of the fourth inning, when Fielder deposited a 1-2 offering into the right-center-field stands. It was home run No. 44 for Fielder and staked the Brewers to a 1-0 lead. In the sixth, Gabe Gross lofted an RBI double to left knocking in Weeks with nobody out. Bullington's night came to an end when Ryan Braun then delivered an RBI single up the middle to give Milwaukee a 3-0 lead. Right-hander John Grabow came on in relief and was tagged for a two-out solo home run by Corey Hart to up the Brewers advantage to 4-0. The Brewers broke the game open against Pirates reliever Salomon Torres when Ryan Braun looped a two-run, two-out single to right field, giving the Brewers a 6-0 lead. Pittsburgh got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Brewers reliever Ray King gave up an RBI double to Nate McLouth.
Pittsburgh looks to bounce back in the rubber game of the series on Wednesday afternoon.
"We'll come back here tomorrow and see if we can't do what we just did to the Chicago Cubs, and that's win another series," Tracy said.
George von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.