Pirates get blanked, fall a game behind St. Louis
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Yovani Gallardo pitched seven sharp innings to beat Pittsburgh once again and Aramis Ramirez homered against his former team as the Milwaukee Brewers downed the Pirates 4-0 Thursday night.
The Pirates fell one game behind NL Central-leading St. Louis. The Cardinals were idle, and start a three-game series at Pittsburgh on Friday night.
Making his Pirates' debut, catcher John Buck went 3 for 3 as he subbed behind the plate while starter Russell Martin got the night off. Pittsburgh acquired Buck and outfielder Marlon Byrd from the New York Mets on Tuesday.
Gallardo (10-9) allowed six hits and one walk while striking out five. He improved his career record against the Pirates to 11-4, including 5-2 at PNC Park.
Ramirez hit his ninth home run of an injury-marred season. He broke into the major leagues with Pittsburgh in 1998, and hit his 350th career homer Tuesday in the series opener.
Rookie Gerrit Cole (6-7) pitched a career-high 7 1-3 innings in his 14th start. He allowed four runs and 10 hits.
NATIONALS 9, MARLINS 0
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond each hit a three-run homer, leading Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals over Miami.
Bryce Harper also homered as the Nationals won for the eighth time in nine games. They pulled within 6½ games of idle Cincinnati for the second NL wild-card slot.
Gonzalez (8-6) pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in his first victory in six weeks.
Adeiny Hechavarria had two of Miami's four hits in its eighth loss in nine games — matching its worst nine-game stretch since May. Tom Koehler (3-9) took the loss.
BRAVES 3, INDIANS 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Brian McCann hit a three-run homer, Kris Medlen pitched seven scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves completed a sweep of Cleveland.
McCann went deep in the third after Justin Upton kept the inning going with a two-out single. Upton had to leave the game in the sixth after being struck on the left hand by a pitch, but X-rays were negative. He is day to day.
Medlen (11-12) capped a series of dominant pitching by the Braves, who surrendered just three runs in three games. David Carpenter gave up a pinch-hit homer to Lonnie Chisenhall in the eighth, but Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth for his 43rd save in 46 chances.
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9) took the loss.
METS 11, PHILLIES 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Torres did his best Matt Harvey imitation, carrying a two-hit shutout into the seventh inning for the New York Mets in a victory over Philadelphia.
Daniel Murphy had four hits, Eric Young Jr. got three and Anthony Recker added a two-run homer on his 30th birthday.
Torres (3-2) started in place of Harvey, the All-Star ace diagnosed Monday with a partially torn elbow ligament, and gave the Mets everything they could have hoped for in helping them earn a four-game series split.
Three days after making a brief relief appearance, Torres struck out six and walked none in 6 2-3 innings. He yielded four hits.
Phillies starter Ethan Martin (2-3) struck out a career-high nine, including five in a row.