Pirates beat Padres 5-4 for 8th win in 9 games!!!

Polanco, Pirates beat Padres 5-4 for 8th win in 9 games
By JOHN PERROTTO, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t expected to contend in the strong NL Central this season, especially after trading stars Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in January.
Yet the Pirates are on top of a division in which four of the five teams are at least four games over .500.
Gregory Polanco led off the seventh inning with a double and scored the go-ahead run on an error, leading the Pirates over the San Diego Padres 5-4 Thursday night for their eighth win in nine games.
Polanco took third on Francisco Cervelli’s deep flyball, then came home when rookie third baseman Christian Villanueva misplayed Corey Dickerson’s two-out grounder.
Pittsburgh (26-17) moved nine games over .500.
“You really can’t predict baseball,” Dickerson said. “Every year you have teams that have good seasons when they aren’t expected to, players who no one knows about who end up having big years. You just never know in this game. We’re playing very well, and we feel like we have a very good team.”
Pittsburgh’s Josh Bell and Sean Rodriguez each had two hits.
Eric Hosmer drove in three runs for San Diego. Freddy Galvis had two hits before being ejected by home plate umpire Will Little after taking a called third strike from Michael Feliz to end the eighth inning.
Rookie Edgar Santana (2-0) retired the only batter he faced, getting Jose Pirela to ground out to end the seventh with a runner on second. He was credited with another win a day after notching his first major league victory against the Chicago White Sox.
“It’s fun to get a chance to pitch in those situations,” Santana said. “The hitters are up looking for RBIs and you know they are going to try a little extra hard to drive in the run. I try to use that to my advantage and stay calm.”
Felipe Vazquez worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his ninth save in as many opportunities.
Matt Strahm (0-1) took the loss.
“He did everything he had to do to get the groundball to get out of that inning,” San Diego manager Andy Green. “We didn’t make the play for him there.”
Both starters were chased in the fifth inning as Padres rookie left-hander Eric Lauer and Chad Kuhl allowed four runs and six hits each.
“I had some trouble pitching out of the stretch and that hurt me,” Kuhl said.
The Pirates tied the score at 4 on Bell’s RBI single in the fifth. Hosmer hit a two-run double in the top of the inning.
The Padres opened the scoring with a two-run third as Travis Jankowski hit an RBI single and Hosmer drove into a run with a grounder.
The Pirates answered with three runs in the fourth. Dickerson doubled in a run, David Freese hit a sacrifice fly and Rodriguez capped the inning with an RBI double.
“Things were going smooth then all of a sudden I wouldn’t say I lost it, but I started making worse pitches,” Lauer said. “Just missing spots by a little bit.”
The Pirates plan to recall top outfield prospect Austin Meadows from Triple-A Indianapolis in time for Friday night’s game. The announcement came while center fielder Starling Marte missed his second straight game with a strained right oblique.
Meadows, 23, is hitting .281 with one home run, 15 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 31 games. The Pirates selected him in the first round of the 2013 amateur draft with the ninth overall pick from Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia.
Pirates: While Marte was out of the lineup, Cervelli (bruised right forearm) returned after sitting out Wednesday and the catcher went 0 for 2 with two walks. … RHP Joe Musgrove (strained right shoulder) is scheduled to make his last rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday. … 2B Josh Harrison (broken left hand) is 1 for 8 in his first two rehab games with Double-A Altoona.
Padres: OF Hunter Renfroe (right elbow inflammation) began a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A El Paso. He has been out since April 18. … LHP Joey Lucchesi (strained right hip) played catch and the Padres are hopeful he will miss only one start. . C Austin Hedges (right elbow tendinitis) has been serving as a designated hitter in extended spring training games but not been cleared to throw.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (2-3, 3.40 ERA) is 0-2 in his last five starts despite a 3.34 ERA.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (2-5, 5.01) is 0-2 with a 10.22 ERA in his past three starts, pitching a combined 12 1/3 innings.

Bell’s single lifts 1st Place Pirates over White Sox 3-2 !!!!

Bell’s single lifts Pirates over reeling White Sox 3-2
By JOHN PERROTTO, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pinch-hitter Josh Bell singled to break a seventh-inning tie, and the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 3-2 Wednesday.
Pittsburgh has won seven of eight and improved to 10-2 in interleague play this season.
Chicago has lost eight of nine and 13 of 15. A major league-worst 10-29, the White Sox have matched their worst start since 1948.
Pittsburgh has won eight straight over Chicago, outscoring the White Sox 45-17. The Pirates also swept a two-game series last week against them in Chicago.
With the score tied 2-2, Elias Diaz doubled off Joakim Soria (0-2) leading off the seventh and Jordy Mercer walked with one out. Bell, rested from the starting lineup in a day game after a night game, grounded a single into left.
Rookie Edgar Santana (1-0) allowed one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first major league win. Felipe Vazquez allowed Welington Castillo’s two-out single in the ninth, then got Jose Abreu to hit into a game-ending forceout. Vazquez remained perfect in eight save opportunities.
Chicago lost despite outhitting the Pirates 8-4.
Leury Garcia homered in the second and Yolmer Sanchez in the fifth.
Pittsburgh’s Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run double in the second.
Pirates starter Jameson Taillon went 5 2/3 innings and showed no ill effects from a cut right index finger that forced him from Friday’s start against San Francisco after three innings.
Hector Santiago pitched five innings for Chicago in place of Carson Fulmer, who was pushed back to Saturday against Texas to allow extra work with pitching coach Don Cooper.
White Sox SS Tim Anderson was not in the lineup after starting each of the first 37 games. He pinch hit in the ninth and flied out. Sanchez, the regular third baseman, played shortstop and Matt Davidson, normally the designated hitter, started at third.
Sanchez made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch in short left field to take away a hit from David Freese in the seventh inning.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (bruised right forearm) and CF Starling Marte (strained right oblique) were out of the lineup after leaving Tuesday night’s 7-0 win. Both are lday to day. … RHP Joe Musgrove (strained right shoulder) is expected to make his last rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Indianapolis then make his Pirates’ debut Tuesday at Cincinnati. He was acquired from Houston in the offseason.
White Sox: RHP James Shields (1-4, 5.44 ERA) starts Thursday’s opener of a four-game series against visiting Texas and LHP Cole Hamels (2-4, 3.48). Shields is winless in eight starts since beating the Royals at Kansas City on opening day.
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.17) will be on the mound Thursday for the start of a four-game series at San Diego. LHP Eric Lauer (1-2, 8.27) starts for the Padres. Kuhl is 3-1 in his last five starts.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Williams Dominates the White Sox!!! Bucs win 7-0 and back in First Place in the Central!!!

By ALAN SAUNDERS, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trevor Williams had a better outing against the struggling Chicago White Sox this time while facing them for the second straight start.
Williams scattered six hits and struck out six without a walk in seven innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the White Sox 7-0 Tuesday night.
Four days earlier, he gave up four runs and seven hits — including two home runs — in five innings before the Pirates rallied for a 6-5 win in Chicago. Williams said he didn’t make any drastic changes to his approach, and credited the pitcher-friendly PNC Park as an aid.
“I thought we did our homework well last time,” he said. “I thought it was just two pitches that left the yard. If we were playing at their yard today, some would have left the yard, as well.”
Chicago has lost eight of nine and 12 of 14, dropping to a major league-worst 10-28. The White Sox have matched the poorest 38-game start in team history.
Williams (5-2) was also helped by a Pirates offense that continued to roll. Pittsburgh scored four runs in the first inning and chased Chicago starter Reynaldo Lopez in the third.
Staked with an advantage, Williams pitched through the seventh inning for the first time this season.
“It was a really strong effort and a really good back-on-track outing for him,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Kyle Crick and Richard Rodriguez completed the seven-hitter for Pittsburgh’s major league league-best seventh shutout.
The tables turned from the previous game on the other side of the ball, as well. The Pirates jumped all over Lopez (0-3) after he had held them to two runs in 7 1/3 innings the last time out.
Pittsburgh built its 4-0 first-inning lead on Adam Frazier’s homer, Josh Bell’s two-run double and Colin Moran’s RBI double. Sean Rodriguez and Bell also had run-scoring hits in the second.
“Last time through, he was throwing a lot of off-speed early,” Bell said of Lopez. “I feel like, for the most part, we were anticipating slower, earlier and it kind of just worked out for us.”
Bell went 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs. Gregory Polanco, who also had two hits, added an RBI double in the sixth.
Lopez allowed six runs and seven hits while walking two and hitting one in his shortest outing of the year.
“I think he didn’t really feel comfortable in the beginning,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Today was one of those days where he wasn’t able to rebound and refocus and get back into a particular zone.”
The Pirates are now 9-2 in interleague play, including 3-0 against Chicago, while the White Sox are 1-7.
White Sox: 2B Yoan Moncada (left hamstring tightness) was activated from the disabled list and went 1 for 4. He had been out since May 4.
Pirates: CF Starling Marte left the game at the end of the first inning with discomfort in his right side. Marte doubled and scored in the bottom of the first. He was replaced by Rodriguez. … C Francisco Cervelli left the game at the end of the third inning with right forearm discomfort. He was hit by a 93 mph fastball in the bottom of the inning by Lopez. Cervelli was replaced by Elias Diaz.
White Sox: LHP Hector Santiago (0-1, 5.60 ERA) will make a spot start on Wednesday in the series finale. Santiago has made two starts this season. He’ll be replacing RHP Carson Fulmer, whose scheduled start was pushed back to Saturday.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (2-3, 4.08 ERA) is expected to start on Wednesday. He left his previous start on May 11 after just three innings with a laceration on the middle finger of his right hand.
More AP baseball: www.apnews.com/tags/MLBbaseball

Giants beat Pirates 5-0!!! Bucs take two out of three to win another series!!!

Hernandez, Hundley help Giants beat Pirates 5-0, stop slide
By ALAN SAUNDERS, Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — San Francisco turned some of those fly-ball outs into home runs.
Gorkys Hernandez homered off Ivan Nova to spark a five-run sixth inning, Nick Hundley added a three-run drive and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0 Sunday to stop a season-high six game-losing streak.
“We hit probably nine, 10 balls right on the screws that their outfielders made plays on,” Hundley said. “So, it was nice to get a couple over the wall then open up the game a little bit.”
San Francisco averaged 8.25 runs per game while winning four straight from May 2-6 but averaged just two runs per game in the first five games of its losing streak. With back-to-back five-run bursts, manager Bruce Bochy hopes the offense may have reignited,
“I think we had some really good at bats and finally broke through,” Bochy said. “Last couple days, they’ve been a lot better.”
Derek Holland (2-4) allowed four hits and five walks in 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts, repeatedly pitching out of trouble. Pittsburgh went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position, including 0 for 8 against Holland, who allowed runners to reach second in four innings.
“I’m still a little upset with this one even though I got to go 6 1/3,” Holland said. “The five walks, that’s the killer. I did a good job, though, of keeping them from scoring.”
Reyes Moronto, Will Smith and Hunter Strickland completed a seven-hitter, the fourth shutout for the Giants this season. The Pirates were blanked for the third time this year.
Andrew McCutchen was 1 for 4 with a walk and went 4 for 14 (.286) with three doubles in his first series at Pittsburgh since the Pirates traded the five-time All-Star to the Giants during the offseason. He extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and he is 16 for 43 (.372) in that stretch.
Nova (2-3) gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings and is 0-2 in five starts since beating Miami on April 15.
Brandon Belt and Pablo Sandoval singled following Hernandez’s homer, and Hundley homered on the first pitch from Richard Rodriguez.
Nova He blamed himself for not being able to field Pablo Sandoval’s sixth-inning grounder.
“If I make that play, it’s three outs,” he said “I didn’t make it. I paid for it.”
Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (broken left hand) is expected to throw off a mound on Monday. If his rehab goes well, could be ready when he is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on May 25. … INF Alen Hanson was held out with a strained left hamstring.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) will have one more rehab start after throwing 5 2/3 innings on Saturday. … 2B Josh Harrison (broken left hand) has taken batting practice and is ready for a rehab stint. He is expected to return to big league action in about two weeks. … RHP Jameson Taillon (right finger laceration) is unsure whether he can make his scheduled start Wednesday. Taillon left his outing on Friday after three innings.
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (3-3, 4.60) is to start Monday at home against Cincinnati. The Giants have been outscored 35-9 in his losses.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (4-2, 3.13 ERA) is slated to pitch Tuesday’s opener of a two-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox. The Pirates are 8-2 in Interleague play.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Pirates top Giants 6-5 for 5th straight win!!! Only half game out of first place!!!

Pirates top Giants 6-5 for 5th straight win
By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates took advantage of a sloppy inning by former closer Tony Watson to slip by the San Francisco Giants 6-5 on Saturday for their fifth straight victory.
Watson (1-2), an All-Star for Pittsburgh during his six-plus seasons with the club, loaded the bases in the eighth, and then gave the Pirates the lead when he hit former teammate Jordy Mercer to force in Josh Bell. Felipe Vazquez (2-0), who took over as Pirates closer when Watson faltered last season, got the final five outs after Pittsburgh blew a two-run lead earlier in the night.
Bell finished with two hits and his adept baserunning kept Pittsburgh’s eighth-inning rally alive. Bell was at third when pinch-hitter David Freese hit a chopper up the third-base line. Bell avoided Evan Longoria’s tag to make it back to third safely and Freese reached first without a throw. Watson then plunked Mercer to put the Pirates in front.
Former Pirates star Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 5 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Longoria and Alen Hanson homered in San Francisco’s sixth straight loss.
McCutchen received multiple standing ovations and two video tributes in his initial return to PNC Park on Friday night, with chants of “MVP” raining down from the upper deck before his first at-bat. The moment proved cathartic for both McCutchen and his former team, which blasted four home runs on its way to an 11-2 victory.
Things were a bit more muted 24 hours later, thanks in part to a 93-minute rain delay that left most of the crowd hiding under ponchos for protection from an intermittent downpour. Just like Friday, however, the crowd rose to its feet when McCutchen walked toward the batter’s box in the first. McCutchen took off his helmet as the applause washed over him. He tried to cut it a bit shorter than the one on Friday, but Cervelli wouldn’t let him. The catcher stood on the infield grass and refused to move toward his usual spot behind the plate to make sure his former teammate drank it all in.
Then the baseball began and the Pirates kept right on rolling even without the player most responsible for the franchise’s turnaround.
The team that finished 29th in the majors in home runs and 28th in runs last season is currently in the top 10 in both categories a quarter of the way into 2018. Polanco and Cervelli — who combined for just 16 homers in 2017 — now have 14 between the two of them. Polanco sent a shot to the seats in right-center just out of McCutchen’s reach in the third and Cervelli took advantage of Jeff Samardzija late.
Samardzija has struggled to find anything resembling rhythm this season and failed to go longer than five innings in each of his first four starters this season. He worked into the sixth this time around and stuck around at least one batter too many. Cervelli drove Samardzija’s 98th pitch over the fence in center to put Pittsburgh in front.
Samardzija allowed five runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings as his ERA rose to 6.94.
Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl recovered from a shaky start to pitch six innings, giving up three runs and six hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
Giants: OF Hunter Pence (sprained right thumb) began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento. Manager Bruce Bochy said there’s a chance Pence, who has not played since April 18, could return at some point during a seven-game homestand that starts Monday against Cincinnati.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (strained right shoulder) pitched 5 2/3 no-hit innings in a rehab start at Triple-A Indianapolis. Musgrove threw 60 of his 79 pitches for strikes. … Pittsburgh is hopeful Jameson Taillon can make his next scheduled start. He exited after three innings on Friday due to a laceration on his right ring finger.
Giants: Derek Holland (1-4, 5.66 ERA) will look for his first road win in nearly a year on Sunday. Holland’s last road victory came on May 21, 2017, while pitching for the Chicago White Sox.
Pirates: Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.84 ERA) lasted just two innings in his previous start on Tuesday in Chicago. Nova has given up 10 runs in his last 5 2/3 innings.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Pirates rip Giants 11-2 in McCutchen’s return to Pittsburgh

Pirates rip Giants 11-2 in McCutchen’s return to Pittsburgh
By WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The men Andrew McCutchen used to call his teammates wanted to make sure McCutchen would have his moment. So when the San Francisco Giants outfielder stepped out of the batter’s box on Friday night to acknowledge the standing ovation at PNC Park in the five-time All-Star’s first game back since being traded in January, the Pittsburgh Pirates clapped right along.
Then McCutchen put his helmet on, dug in and went back to work. The Pirates did, too. Six pitches later McCutchen was headed back to the dugout after striking out looking, and Pittsburgh set about showcasing that the franchise remains very much alive even without the player most vital to its turnaround.
“We can’t just dwell on the past and wish he was here the whole time,” Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer said. “It’s time to move on.”
That’s easier to do when you’re hitting the ball all over the yard.
Starling Marte, Josh Bell and Jose Osuna all hit two-run homers, Max Moroff added a three-run blast and the Pirates beat the Giants 11-2 on Friday night.
McCutchen, who played his first nine seasons in Pittsburgh before being shipped to the Giants four months ago, let the outpouring from the largest crowd to watch a Pirates home game this season pour over him when he came to bat in the first inning. He finished 1 for 5 with a double and threw out Pittsburgh’s Colin Moran at home to end the sixth while being cheered whenever he came to bat or made a play in the field.
“I don’t think there was anything normal about it,” McCutchen said about the response. “You try to make it as normal as possible, but you’re playing against guys you played with for a long time and that’s not normal. I tried my best not to think about it, but I think they had the advantage over me. I was trying to ride through it. I did my best.”
Steven Brault (3-1) picked up the win in relief after Pittsburgh starter Jameson Taillon left after three innings with a laceration on his right hand. Mercer went 3 for 4 and scored twice for the Pirates, who have won five of six.
San Francisco rookie Andrew Suarez (1-2) lasted just four innings in his fourth career start, giving up five runs on seven hits, including home runs to Marte in the first and Osuna in the fourth. Austin Jackson’s two-run double off Brault in the fourth briefly tied the game at 2, but Suarez struggled in the bottom of the inning as the Giants dropped their fifth straight.
“(The key) is starting pitching,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s how you get on a roll, good starting pitching. If you’re struggling, it’s usually because your starters are in a little rut and that’s what’s happening with us right now.”
The Giants went 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position and struck out 14 times. San Francisco has fanned 68 times during its five-game slide.
“We’re having a hard time making contact or even getting a productive out,” Bochy said. “That’s why we have had five ugly losses. We’re not doing anything offensively, the (opposing) pitchers are on top of their games and that’s why we’re in the little streak that we’re on right now.”
Pittsburgh is off to a solid start in the competitive NL Central despite a roster makeover that included sending McCutchen — the 2013 NL MVP — west in exchange for reliever Kyle Crick, outfield prospect Bryan Reynolds and international bonus slot money.
General manager Neal Huntington described the decision to trade McCutchen as tough but necessary. So far, it looks prescient.
Marte, McCutchen’s replacement in center, drilled a two-run shot off Suarez in the first. Osuna added a pinch-hit homer to the bleachers in left field in the fifth to put the Pirates up 5-2, and Pittsburgh poured it on from there.
“I answered a lot of questions over the winter about where the power is going to come from,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “The power is coming from a lot of different places.”
Attendance was announced at 34,720, and many fans showed their appreciation for McCutchen by wearing versions of his No. 22 jersey.
Giants: OF Mac Williamson (concussion) remains out indefinitely. Bochy said it will be at least another week before Williamson is cleared to exit the concussion protocol program. Williamson hasn’t played since he was injured on April 24. … Bochy said OF Hunter Pence’s strained right thumb is “doing better.”
Giants: Jeff Samardzija (1-2, 6.62 ERA) will try to bounce back Saturday after getting drilled in an 11-0 loss to Philadelphia last Monday. Samardzija is 6-4 with a 2.80 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh.
Pirates: Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.12) is 3-1 in his last four starts and tied a career high with eight strikeouts in a victory over Milwaukee last Sunday.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Pirates win 6-5 with 4-run 9th capped off by a Colin Moran 2 run Homer!!!!

  • Pirates win 6-5 with 4-run 9th, White Sox fall to 9-25
    BY MIKE HELFGOT, Associated Press
    CHICAGO (AP) — Colin Moran hit a two-run homer that capped a four-run rally against Nate Jones in the ninth inning, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates over Chicago 6-5 on Wednesday and sending the last-place White Sox to their ninth loss in 10 games.
    Chicago took a 5-2 lead into the ninth behind Reynaldo Lopez, who allowed two runs and three hits in a career-high 7 1/3 innings.
    Jace Fry struck out the final two batters of the eighth, but Jones (2-1) blew a save for the second time in three chances as the White Sox lost their fifth in a row and fell to 9-25. Chicago is off to its second-worst 34-game start behind an 8-26 opening in 1948. The White Sox have the poorest home record in the major leagues at 3-15.
    Starling Marte and Josh Bell singled on consecutive pitches off Jones, Corey Dickerson grounded out and Elias Diaz cut the lead to one with a two-run double on an 0-2 pitch.
    Moran took a ball and then hit drive to right-center.
    Richard Rodriguez (1-1) won despite allowing consecutive doubles to Jose Rondon and Welington Castillo in the eighth. Felipe Vazquez pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save in seven chances.
    Jordy Mercer and Gregory Polanco hit solo home runs in the sixth for the Pirates, who had trailed 4-0. Tim Anderson and Daniel Palka hit two-run homers for the White Sox.
    Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams allowed a season-high four runs and seven hits in five innings.
    Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) is expected to make his next start for Triple-A Indianapolis. He pitched four scoreless innings for Double-A Altoona on Monday.
    White Sox: 3B prospect Jake Burger has torn his left Achilles tendon again and will be sidelined for an additional year. Burger first tore the tendon Feb. 26 while running out a ground ball during an exhibition game against Oakland. Burger was the taken by the White Sox with the 11th overall pick in last year’s amateur draft. … OF Nicky Delmonico (bruised right quadriceps) left in the fifth, two innings after colliding with Pirates 1B Josh Bell while rounding the base on a single. … 2B Yoan Moncada (left hamstring tightness) took ground balls before the game. The team is optimistic that can be activated from the 10-day DL when eligible on May 15.
    Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (2-3, 4.42) started Friday at San Francisco. He is 0-3 in his last five starts.
    White Sox: RHP Carson Fulmer (2-2, 5.02 ERA) starts Friday at Wrigley Field.
    More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Pirates rally past White Sox 10-6!!!

Moran gets key hit as Pirates rally past White Sox 10-6
By JAY COHEN, AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — When it comes to interleague play, the Pittsburgh Pirates sail along like no other team in the National League.
Colin Moran hit a key two-run double, Jordy Mercer also drove in two runs and the Pirates beat the lowly Chicago White Sox 10-6 on Tuesday night.
Corey Dickerson had four of Pittsburgh’s 16 hits, atoning for an early fielding miscue and helping the Pirates improve to 3-5 on a nine-game trip. Starling Marte finished with three hits.
“Everybody contributed,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Pittsburgh had dropped five of seven, but the Pirates love to plunder the American League, specifically their counterparts in the AL Central. They improved to 7-2 in interleague play this year and 65-44 over the last six seasons, tops in the NL. They have won 23 of 32 against the AL Central dating to June 15, 2015, including 14 of 18 on the road.
“Our advance scouts have done a fantastic job,” Hurdle said. “It’s a pop test for us. It’s a pop quiz, you know, more often than not. … We’ve got good scouting and then the other part of it, the way it’s worked out, we have done a good job pitching.”
Welington Castillo homered twice for the last-place White Sox, who have lost four straight and eight of nine. Yolmer Sanchez had three hits and scored twice, and Jose Abreu drove in two runs.
Sanchez’s sinking liner in the first turned into an RBI triple when Dickerson appeared to have trouble tracking the ball in left. Sanchez then scored on Abreu’s grounder, and Castillo hit a two-run homer off Ivan Nova for a 4-0 lead.
But Pittsburgh responded with four in the second — capped by run-scoring hits for Gregory Polanco and Marte against Lucas Giolito — and went ahead to stay with three in the fifth. Moran’s double to deep center made it 6-5, and Mercer followed with an RBI single off Chris Volstad (0-2).
“We tried to minimize everything with the relief and just fell short,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
Dickerson contributed RBI singles in the sixth and eighth as the Pirates extended their lead to 10-5.
“After the first inning, you just kind of put your head down and try to get to work,” Moran said. “Try to get on base, try to score runs any way possible. A lot of the guys were putting together really good at-bats, and that was probably the key to the success.”
Nova was pulled after just two innings, but Tyler Glasnow (1-1), Edgar Santana, Michael Feliz, George Kontos and Felipe Vasquez combined for nearly spotless relief. The one blemish was Castillo’s fourth homer off Kontos in the eighth.
Giolito allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He threw 60 strikes in 98 pitches.
“To throw that many pitches in that few innings, I mean it’s just not getting the job done as a starting pitcher,” Giolito said. “I should be going five at least.”
Pittsburgh recalled infielder Jose Osuna from Triple-A Indianapolis. He started at first base and went 1 for 5 in his second major league game of the season.
Osuna takes the roster spot of right-hander Nick Kingham, who was sent down on Monday. The Pirates are off Thursday and next Monday, eliminating the need for a fifth starter for a short time.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) pitched four innings in a rehab start with Double-A Altoona on Monday night. He allowed one run and two hits, struck out four and walked none.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (rotator cuff inflammation) threw live batting practice to OFs Avisail Garcia and Daniel Palka. He got up and down three times while making about 35 pitches. Depending on how he feels Wednesday, he could head out for a minor league rehab stint. … Garcia, who is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, is doing “very, very well,” according to Renteria. “He feels good. No discomfort,” Renteria said. “Just have to build him back up and get him back out there.” … 2B Yoan Moncada (left hamstring tightness) is doing strengthening exercises. “The hope is that he’ll be ready to go toward next week sometime,” Renteria said.
Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams and White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez get the ball for the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Williams (4-2, 2.63 ERA) allowed a season-high three runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 3-1 loss at Washington in his previous start. Lopez (0-2, 2.43 ERA) is coming off three straight no-decisions, allowing seven earned runs in 18 innings.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Turner, Zimmerman HR, Nats beat Pirates 3-1 for 4-game sweep

Turner, Zimmerman HR, Nats beat Pirates 3-1 for 4-game sweep
WASHINGTON (AP) — Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman homered in the sixth inning and the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
Jeremy Hellickson and four relievers combined on a five-hitter for Washington, which has won a season-high five in a row. The Nationals won with just four hits.
Sammy Solis (1-1) retired the only batter he faced, ending the sixth to keep the game scoreless. Sean Doolittle recorded the last five outs for his sixth save in as many attempts.
Trevor Williams (4-2) allowed only two runners over the first five innings. Wilmer Difo led off with a single, and after Bryce Harper flied out, Turner hit his second home run of the season.
Two batters later, Zimmerman connected for his fifth homer.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases in the eighth against Ryan Madson on a hit batter, a single and an error. Doolittle entered and got Gregory Polanco on an RBI grounder and retired Starling Marte on a flyball.
Hellickson pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, retiring 13 in a row before yielding a two-out single in the sixth to Adam Frazier. That ended the right-hander’s day, as manager Martinez was unwilling to permit Hellickson to venture too deep into Pittsburgh’s lineup for a third time.
Hellickson struck out four and allowed three hits. He has not earned a victory since Aug. 25 when he was with Baltimore, a span of nine starts.
Nationals: 3B Anthony Rendon (bruised toe) will serve as the designated hitter Thursday night as he starts a rehabilitation assignment at Class A Potomac.
Pirates: RHP Nick Kingham (1-0, 0.00 ERA), who took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his major league debut Sunday against St. Louis, gets another turn in the rotation Friday as Pittsburgh begins a three-game series in Milwaukee.
Nationals: Washington’s homestand continues as Philadelphia arrives for a three-game series. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 2.67) starts Friday and is 10-7 with a 2.69 ERA in 23 career starts against the Phillies.

Bucs fall to the Nationals 3-2!! Costly errors ends Bucs winning streak!!!

Roark goes 7 innings, gets rare RBI as Nats beat Pirates 3-2
By BEN NUCKOLS, AP Sports Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tanner Roark pitched seven efficient innings and drove in his first run since 2016, and the Washington Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 on Monday night.
Roark (2-2) allowed two runs on six hits, struck out four and induced two double-play grounders for his first win since April 2 as the Nationals ended a disappointing April with their second straight victory.
Starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (2-3) drove in the first run for the Pirates with a two-out double to deep left-center in the fifth. He worked six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, as NL Central-leading Pittsburgh lost for the first time since his previous start. The Pirates had won five straight.
Bryce Harper drew two intentional walks and struck out twice in four plate appearances. The former MVP now has 38 walks and eight intentional passes this season, both tops in the majors, as the injury-depleted Nationals have struggled to protect him in the lineup.
Harper’s first intentional walk came in the third after he had worked the count to 2-1 with Trea Turner on second base. Taillon then struck out Howie Kendrick — who went 0-for-4 while batting cleanup for the third time this season — and Matt Adams to end the threat.
Batting in the fourth with runners on first and second, Roark bunted the first pitch foul. Then he pulled the bat back as Taillon threw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance. Roark hit the next pitch up the middle to score Matt Wieters and put the Nationals ahead 2-1, his second hit this season and his fifth career RBI. Turner followed with a run-scoring single, one of his three hits on the night.
Corey Dickerson homered to deep left leading off the seventh to pull the Pirates within one. Roark then retired the next three batters, fanning the final two.
Ryan Madson retired the side in the eighth and Brandon Kintzler worked the ninth for his first save in place of regular closer Sean Doolittle, who had pitched in the previous three games.
Wilmer Difo had two hits and drove in Washington’s first run with a second-inning single.
Nationals: 2B Daniel Murphy (offseason knee surgery) was back with the team after spending two weeks at extended spring training in West Palm Beach, Florida, and was scheduled to be re-evaluated by team doctors. He has been hitting, running and taking ground balls, Martinez said. There is still no timetable for his return. … 3B Anthony Rendon (left toe contusion) became eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, and no decision has been made on whether he will have a minor league rehab assignment.
Pirates: CF Starling Marte was out of the starting lineup for the first time this season but popped out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. … LHP Enny Romero said he had been trying to pitch through pain in his throwing shoulder before he told team trainers about the injury on Sunday. Pittsburgh had planned to designate him for assignment but instead placed him on the 10-day DL, retroactive to Thursday. “It’s a new organization. He didn’t want to come in and say he wasn’t ready to pitch or that he couldn’t pitch,” Hurdle said. “After we had that conversation, I guess there’s a process you go through where you contact MLB and get the verification that everything’s OK, and it’s OK now that he’s on DL.”
The Nationals shook up their bullpen again, recalling right-hander Wander Suero from Triple-A Syracuse and sending right-hander Austin Voth back to Syracuse one day after he was promoted to the big leagues. Voth has been a starter for nearly his entire minor league career, while Suero is a reliever with 30 career minor league saves.
Suero had a chance to make the team out of spring training before he suffered an oblique injury on March 9. He was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in four appearances for Syracuse but did not allow a run in his last three outings.
“I like his ability to get both lefty hitters and righty hitters out. He’s got a really good cutter and he throws strikes,” Martinez said.
Last year’s NL Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer (5-1, 1.62 ERA), who threw his first of two career no-hitters against the Pirates on June 20, 2015, starts for Washington. Pittsburgh right-hander Chad Kuhl (3-1, 4.55) allowed six runs on 10 hits in four innings in his previous start against the Nationals last May.
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