The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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May 24, 2013

Estrada, Brewers cool off Pirates

MILWAUKEE — Marco Estrada gave up one run over seven innings and Alex Gonzalez had a two-run double, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.

Estrada (4-2) retired the first 14 Pittsburgh batters he faced before a two-out bloop single to left field by Neil Walker in the fifth inning gave the Pirates their first base runner.

Estrada struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. He fanned eight of 12 Pittsburgh batters at one point and improved his career record to 5-0 against the Pirates, including eight starts.

Four Brewers relievers combined to record the final six outs. Francisco Rodriguez retired the final batter to record his first save of the season and 295th of his career.

Rodriguez entered the game after Brewers closer Jim Henderson sustained a right hamstring injury while attempting to field a hard grounder off the bat of Russell Martin.

Rodriguez’s last save came last July 18.

Estrada outpitched Pirates starter A.J. Burnett (3-5), who gave up three hits and two earned runs over seven innings. Burnett struck out six and walked two. He retired 17 of the final 19 batters he faced. The Brewers managed just four hits for the game.

The Pirates had their four-game winning streak snapped and lost for the third time in 14 games. The Brewers had lost 16 of 20.

The Brewers scored their only runs of the game in second inning. Aramis Ramirez led off the inning with a walk. After Martin Maldonado struck out, Carlos Gomez laced an opposite-field, line-drive double that just missed hitting Ramirez, who was leading off first base. Ramirez and Gomez scored on Gonzalez’s one-out double.

The Pirates didn’t threaten until the sixth inning, when Starling Marte tripled down the left-field line with two outs. Estrada struck out Travis Snider to end the inning. Pittsburgh finally got to Estrada in the seventh when Walker hit a two-out double, scoring Martin, who reached on a fielder’s choice.

Notes: Estrada laced an opposite-field single in the fifth inning, one of only three hits against Burnett. … The Brewers placed starting pitcher Hiram Burgos on the 15-day disabled list. Relief pitcher Tom Gorzelanny was reinstated from the DL. … Burnett entered the game with a National League-leading 79 strikeouts. The only other Pirate pitcher since 1900 to have at least 79 strikeouts by the end of May is Bob Veale, who had 81 in 1966. Burnett added six strikeouts to his season total Friday night . … The game marked the start of stretch in which Milwaukee will play 20 games over 20 days. … Estrada threw 100 pitches, 73 for strikes. Burnett threw 99 pitches, 65 for strikes.

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