Is it possible that straining a hamstring could be a good thing for a pitcher?

You have to wonder after watching Yovani Gallardo's three starts since coming off the disabled list with that injury.

The Milwaukee Brewers right-hander was solid again Thursday night tossing seven shutout innings against Pittsburgh to spark the Brewers to a 4-0 victory at PNC Park that allowed them to take two of three from the Pirates and complete a 4-2 trip that started in Cincinnati.

In three starts since returning to action Gallardo has allowed just two earned runs in 191/3 innings which computes to a minuscule 0.93 earned run average. Prior to going on the DL Gallardo had struggled to an 8-9 record and 4.91 ERA.

"It did (help) a little bit to be honest with you" Gallardo said of his time on the DL. "It took a little bit of the pressure off more mechanics-wise. I wanted to fix everything all at once (before that). That's tough to do when you're going out there every five days competing against big-league hitters.

"I tweaked some things to see what happened. You never know. Little things like that can allow you to find that good rhythm. It just puts you back where you need to be."

Gallardo had few real jams to work out of in out-pitching promising young Pittsburgh right-hander Gerrit Cole. Gallardo allowed six hits and only one walk while striking out five. Both Cole and Gallardo benefited from pitching to contact with the Brewers bouncing into four double plays and the Pirates three (two with Gallardo on the mound).

"In the first inning I was struggling a little bit with location but I was fortunate to have them put the ball in play and hit it on the ground" said Gallardo who boosted his record to 10-9. "After that as the game went on I started coming back being able to keep the ball down and mixing pitches.

"That's a good thing when you're able to throw strikes keep the ball down in the (strike) zone and have them swing the bat. The last thing you want to do is be walking guys left and right and get yourself in trouble.