PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Ian Snell is learning how to pitch inside to
major league hitters and seeing the results.
Snell struck out 10 to tie his career high and Freddy Sanchez
got three hits to raise his NL-leading batting average to .342,
sending the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3
Wednesday in the first game of a doubleheader.
"A great performance by Ian Snell," Pittsburgh manager Jim
Tracy said. "He did something today that was very impressive. His
effectiveness of pitching inside helped him immensely with his
curveball and his slider down and away that he had very good
command of, which was evidenced by the fact that he walked one and
had 10 strikeouts."
Snell (13-10) became the first Pirates pitcher to win as many as
13 games in a season since 1999, when Todd Ritchie won 15.
"I was actually throwing inside and changing eye levels to all
the hitters," Snell said. "I wasn't throwing a lot of the same
pitches to the same hitters."
Snell said he has always had a fear of throwing inside since he
hit and seriously injured a batter when he was young.
But Snell said pitching coach Jim Colborn has helped him get
over that fear, and Snell rebounded Wednesday after two consecutive
Salomon Torres worked the ninth for his seventh save -- all
coming in the Pirates' last seven victories.
Sanchez is now hitting .342. He hit his 47th double, tying the
team record for right-handed batters set by Adam Comorosky in 1930.
Prince Fielder had three hits and drove in two runs for
Milwaukee, which lost for the fifth time in six games.
After Fielder hit an RBI double in the first, the Pirates took
the lead for good in third with three runs off Chris Capuano
(11-11). Sanchez had a sacrifice fly, Paulino doubled home a run
and Jose Castillo had a sacrifice fly.
"Paulino had three different opportunities in his first three
at-bats," Tracy said "Each time he came up, he had runners on
first and second and cashed in on two of the three. You're not
going to get it done every single time but when situations present
themselves, if your percentage of efficiency is where it needs to
be in order to help your ballclub be good, you're in business."
But the Pirates added three in the sixth with two outs, chasing
Capuano. Sanchez singled home scored Duffy, and Paulino hit a
Capuano has lost three consecutive starts and has won only once
since July 6, going 1-7.
"I definitely felt off with my command," Capuano said. "Today
was very frustrating for me, but I have been throwing the ball well
since the end of July, really. This is just a bump in the road.
I've got three starts left and am hoping to finish strong."
The Brewers added a run in the eighth on Fielder's double.
"Snell's tough," Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. "He's given
us problems every time we've faced him. We just couldn't do much
The last doubleheader between the Pirates and the Brewers
was on July 2, 2004. ... The Pirates are 10-0 when Duffy scores two
or more runs in a game. ... The Brewers' Corey Hart has hit safely
in 13 of 14 games.