Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonathan Lucroy hit a ground-rule double that was picked up by a fan in the seventh inning and scored the game's only run on a ground out, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
The Pirates had a runner thrown out at first base in the first inning on the first of two key plays that were reviewed in a game that featured just nine hits, seven given up by starters Yovani Gallardo and Jeff Locke.
"That was a crazy game," said Lucroy. "That was one of those games where both starters were on so you knew it was going to be a pitchers' duel and you just have to go out there and grind it out."
Gallardo (4-4) struck out eight batters in seven innings and yielded just four hits and a walk and Francisco Rodriguez stranded runners at the corners in the ninth to lock down the win and his 19th save.
The Brewers won for the third time in four games, including the last two of this three-game series.
The Pirates have lost three of four. They also stranded a man on third in the eighth when Russell Martin was called out on strikes to end the inning.
After looking at a knee-high fastball that ended up in the dirt, Martin spiked his bat, threw his helmet and was ejected. Clint Hurdle was also tossed after coming out of the dugout to argue with home plate umpire Ed Hickox.
The Pirates had their hopes dashed in the ninth, even after a successful challenge overturned a call on the field and Starling Marte was ruled safe on a steal of second base.
Ike Davis drew a walk after that and Marte went to third when Travis Snider grounded into a fielder's choice, with Davis being retired at second. But Josh Harrison flied out to Carlos Gomez in shallow center field to end the game.
The Pirates put right-hander Gerrit Cole on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with shoulder fatigue and recalled Locke from Triple-A Indianapolis to make his second spot start of the season.
Locke (0-1) was in command for much of his seven innings, giving up three hits and one walk and striking out five.
"Outstanding," said Hurdle. "His fastball command was spot-on and the changeup played so well. He kept shoving the fastball in there for strikes, sometimes off the plate to get them to move. ... That's the young man we saw pitch in the first half of the season last year."
Pittsburgh's Neil Walker was thrown out at home plate in the first inning trying to tag up from third base on Gaby Sanchez's fly out to right field. Ryan Braun's throw arrived on target for a close play that umpires opted to review to make sure Lucroy gave Walker a path to the plate.
Hurdle thought there was obstruction on the play, and he wasn't convinced Walker's foot didn't hit the plate ahead of the tag. (Officials are allowed to check on other things during reviews -- like whether or not a runner was actually safe or out.)
"Just a lot went on today that you kind of shake your head," said Hurdle. "You just got to get rid of it and move on."
Locke coasted until the seventh inning, retiring the first 11 Brewers batters and throwing 69 pitches through six. Lucroy's blooper in the seventh dropped fair inside the left-field line and was picked up by a fan in the front row.
Lucroy, who had stopped halfway down the first-base line seemingly unaware the ball was fair, was awarded a ground-rule double. He went to third on Gomez's line out and scored when Aramis Ramirez cued a shot to Sanchez at first base for a force out, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead.
Gallardo escaped a jam in the bottom of the seventh inning after the first two runners reached base -- Martin on a single and Pedro Alvarez on a bouncer to third that backed up Ramirez, whose throw to second base was late.
Jordy Mercer's one-out single loaded the bases, but Gallardo struck out pinch- hitter Jose Tabata and got Josh Harrison on a pop out to end the inning.