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Gallardo gets battered as Royals beat Brewers

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Associated Press
March 9, 2009
— The Milwaukee Brewers hope Yovani Gallardo can pick up some of the considerable slack after losing C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets in the offseason.

Making it out of the first inning would be a good start.


Gallardo retired only two of the 10 batters he faced, and the Kansas City Royals scored seven times off him in a 7-1 victory Sunday. Only five of the runs were earned after a fielding error by Rickie Weeks.


Not that it made Gallardo feel much better.


“It was not pretty,” he said. “I’m very disappointed on how things went today.”


The 23-year-old right-hander was limited to four starts last season because of knee surgery after going 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA as a rookie in 2007. He’s trying to show he can carry the load for Milwaukee, but walked three and allowed four singles before being yanked for Tim Dillard.


“From the beginning I just fell behind the hitters,” Gallardo said. “That was the problem for the whole thing. The couple of times I was ahead, I was unable to finish them off. Throwing in the bullpen, I felt great, everything was good. Once I got out there, I got away from the game plan a little bit and things got me.”


It was a considerable step back considering Gallardo struck out five and allowed one hit in three innings in his previous spring outing against Colorado.


“I don’t think you can take anything positive out of giving up seven runs in the first inning,” he said. “I know it’s going to happen, but it gets very frustrating for me, especially coming after the other start I had (when) I had good stuff. I was throwing way too many pitches in that first inning. I’m sure the position players might have been on their heels a little bit.


“I’ll just forget about it and focus on the next start. The positive is that’s it is in March — get them out of the way.”


Billy Butler, Brayan Pena, Shane Costa and Corey Smith each had run-scoring singles in the first inning for Kansas City, staking Zack Greinke to a big early cushion.


“Once again, we are seeing some pitches and capitalized on the error,” Royals manager Trey Hillman said. “I like those multi-run innings. Crooked numbers are good. I would like to see the approach a little more consistent for the rest of the game. We weren’t as disciplined in the second through the eight as we were in the first.”


Greinke pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits with two walks and a strikeout, and Robinson Tejeda gave up one hit and struck out three in three innings of relief.


“Zack pitched well,” Hillman said. “He ran into some deep counts, but it is still due to the same thing. He wants to go into the season commanding that changeup. It’s throwing him out of rhythm with some of his other pitches, but he’s throwing some great changeups as well.”


Brad Nelson homered in the ninth off Brad Duckworth for Milwaukee’s only run.



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