Braves get to Gallardo

Braves get to Gallardo

May 3rd, 2011 by Associated Press in Sports

ATLANTA - Chipper Jones said it might have taken a little more than a big hit from Alex Gonzalez, a strong start from Jair Jurrjens and a home run from backup catcher David Ross for the Atlanta Braves to finally beat Yovani Gallardo.

Jones kidded that a little witchcraft might have been involved.

Gonzalez hit a three-run double to give Atlanta the lead and the Braves finally solved Gallardo in beating the Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 on Monday night.

Gallardo began the day 3-0 with a 0.96 earned run average in five career starts against Atlanta, including a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 win on April 5 in Milwaukee.

"We snapped the head off a chicken and, I don't know, exorcised a demon," Jones joked.

Ross hit a homer in the third inning before the Braves knocked Gallardo (2-2) out of the game in the sixth. Gonzalez cleared the bases with his double before scoring on a single by Nate McLouth.

The four runs Gallardo allowed in the sixth matched his total allowed over 37 1/3 innings in his first five starts against the Braves.

"He's been scuffling a little as of late," said Jones, who had two hits.

Jurrjens, meanwhile, appears to be gaining momentum.

Jurrjens (3-0) gave up two runs on seven hits and no walks in 7 2/3 innings. He had four strikeouts as he continues his comeback from a frustrating 2010 season shortened by injuries.

"It's not so much what I'm doing. I'm just pain-free," Jurrjens said.

Gallardo allowed nine hits and five runs in five-plus innings. He matched his season high with four walks while striking out seven.

The right-hander has allowed four or more earned runs in five straight starts, leaving his ERA at 6.10.

"I thought he looked better this time than he did his last outing," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "Still isn't like we saw in the first couple games, but we thought it was better. Rhythm was better.

"The walks hurt him, but I didn't think they hit the ball that hard. This guy is used to being in every ballgame that he pitches. He's used to keeping that run total down. I'm sure he's getting a little frustrated with it, but I think there is improvement there."

The Brewers took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning on Yuniesky Betancourt's two-run triple. Jurrjens retired the next 11 batters before giving up infield singles to Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez in the eighth.

The double by Gonzalez in the sixth drove in Jones, Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman. Jones and Freeman reached on walks from Gallardo.

Jason Heyward walked off Zach Braddock in the seventh, moved to third on Jones' double and scored on a headfirst slide on Freeman's broken-bat fly to center field.

Ross hit his third homer in his 19th at-bat of the season. He plays behind All-Star Brian McCann, who has two homers in 97 at-bats.

"It's nice to give Mac a night off and perform well," said Ross, who added that his work behind the plate wasn't difficult.

"Jair Jurrjens, when he's pitching like that, it makes my job easy," Ross said.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he may continue to pair Ross with Jurrjens as a way of giving McCann a rest every five games.

Closer Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for Atlanta.