04/29/09 7:15 PM ET
Snell outdueled by Gallardo in finale
Right-hander gives up lone homer to counterpart in loss
By Jeff Zampanti / Special to MLB.com
Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo tossed eight scoreless innings with a career-high 11 strikeouts and provided all of the offense with a game-winning home run as Pittsburgh suffered a 1-0 setback and another sweep on Wednesday at Miller Park.
It was the Pirates' 15th consecutive loss to the Brewers -- the longest active losing streak in the Majors by one team against another -- and 18th straight defeat at Miller Park.
"They have our number," said Pittsburgh's Ian Snell, who worked seven dominating innings. "That's all I can say. They're a good team."
Pittsburgh (11-10) now heads home looking to snap its first three-game losing streak of the season. After watching the bullpen fall short in the first two games of the series, the Bucs couldn't capitalize on a courageous outing from Snell in the finale.
The right-hander tossed a Major League season-high 131 pitches and held the hot-hitting Brewers in check until one bad pitch -- a one-out, 0-2 slider to Gallardo in the seventh inning -- decided the outcome. Gallardo deposited the pitch 395 feet into the left-field bleachers for his fourth career home run.
"It was a slider that didn't do anything," Snell said. "It stayed up in the zone. You have to tip your hat to him. He's a good hitter ... a good player, period."
Gallardo retired the first 14 hitters and was perfect until allowing a two-out double to Andy LaRoche in the fifth inning. The hurler consistently burned the corners with a low-90s fastball and mixed in his breaking ball in allowing just two hits and one walk.
"He was hitting his spots mostly all day," LaRoche said. "When you hit your spots, they'll give you a little off the plate. And if you're sitting there painting [the corners] like that, you can't do anything but tip your cap to him. He did a great job."
Snell (1-3) did all he could to match Gallardo. He allowed just five hits in seven innings, with four walks and five strikeouts.
"There's a guy with a 96-mph fastball who's throwing all those changeups," Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "As a hitter, you're standing there and in the back of your mind is, 'I know this guy has got a good fastball.' The last inning [Snell] was out there, he was throwing 94, 95 mph, but he had the good slider. ... So if you call that pitching backwards a little bit, that's what he did. Those are the guys who are really tough, who command their offspeed [pitches] and yet they still have that fastball."
Brewers leadoff hitter Rickie Weeks, who homered in each of the first two games of the series, went 0-for-3 while slugger Ryan Braun finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
"[Snell] seemed to get stronger as the game went on," Bucs skipper John Russell said. "It was just one of those games. To shut that lineup down, especially the way they've been swinging the bats, was a really good job. We played good defense. We just happened to face a buzz saw today."
Jeff Zampanti is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.