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Lowe sharp, but Braves lose to Brewers 1-0

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POSTED: April 6, 2011 11:53 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Derek Lowe says he got outdueled by one of the game's elite.

Lowe struck out seven over six innings, but the only run he's allowed this year cost the Atlanta Braves in a 1-0 loss to Yovani Gallardo and the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

"Sometimes, you just get outpitched," Lowe said. "That's going to happen. There's really nothing you can do. He's one of the elite pitchers in the league. He showed it."

Lowe (0-1) allowed Ryan Braun's RBI single in the third.

Gallardo singled off Lowe with one out in the inning and after a strikeout by Rickie Weeks, Nyjer Morgan and Braun followed with singles to put Milwaukee up 1-0. It was the first run Lowe allowed this season as his ERA rose to 0.77 in his first two starts.

"It's weird. You're sitting here talking about a hit to the pitcher," Lowe said. "It wasn't very good. It was kind of a hanging breaking ball. That's why I threw him so many because he's a legit hitter."

Gallardo (1-0) threw a two-hitter, walking two and striking out two for the third shutout of his career. Two of the runners were erased by double plays and no one on the Braves reached second.

It was the best start by a Brewers starter since CC Sabathia threw a one-hitter in Pittsburgh on Aug. 31, 2008. Juan Nieves has the only no-hitter in franchise history in 1987.

Gallardo's superb outing gave new manager Ron Roenicke his first win. He's the last of a dozen new major league skippers to pick up his first win this season.

The 25-year-old Gallardo, who signed a long-term contract extension last season to be Milwaukee's ace, had two shutouts last season.

This one was important for a team that's chocked full of optimism, but has stumbled out of the gate after being swept by NL Central rival Cincinnati and losing the first game of this series.

Milwaukee's offense continues to sputter with just 13 runs in the first five games and ran itself into two outs at the plate in the eighth when Gallardo could've used an insurance run.

First, reliever Eric O'Flaherty forced Prince Fielder into a grounder, and second baseman Dan Uggla threw out Morgan by a step. Then, left fielder Martin Prado fired a strike to catcher Brian McCann to get Braun trying to score from second after Casey McGehee's soft lineout to left off reliever Scott Linebrink.

The crowd of 24,117 booed after Carlos Gomez popped out foul to end the inning.

But they cheered again as soon as Gallardo began walking to the mound. He struck out Eric Hinske, forced pinch-hitter Freddie Freeman to ground out to Fielder at first and got Prado to hit a grounder to shortstop Craig Counsell to end it.

Gallardo was sharp from the start, only giving up a one-out single to Nate McLouth in the first and walks in the fourth and fifth innings. He faced only one over the minimum thanks to two double plays by his defense.

"They made some nice plays defensively," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I thought there were a couple of balls that were going to get through the infield that he made plays on."

Uggla led off the eighth with a single, but with one out, he tried stealing second. Uggla would've been safe, but slid past the bag and was tagged out by a scrambling Weeks.

That was Atlanta's last chance.

"All in all, it was a well played game. We just lost," Lowe said. "Give the guy credit, and move on."

NOTES: It was Gallardo's fourth career complete game. ... Morgan improved to 17 of 31 against Lowe in his career. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and will start Wednesday night's game. He was 3-2 with a 5.98 ERA in nine appearances (eight starts) last season. ... Braves RHP Jair Jurrjens (right oblique strain) will throw a simulated game at Gwinnett on Wednesday.

 

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