Andrew McCutchen (5 RBIs) powers Pirates past Twins

Andrew McCutchen (5 RBIs) powers Pirates past Twins

Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in five runs, and Mitch Keller allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the host Minnesota Twins 7-4 on Saturday night.

McCutchen broke the game open in the ninth with his 11th homer of the season off reliever Jordan Balazovic, a 438-foot, three-run blast into the second deck in right-center field that gave the Pirates a 7-3 lead.

It was the 298th homer of McCutchen’s career and first since June 30. Jason Delay had a double among two hits and two runs, Ke’Bryan Hayes had two hits and an RBI, and Ji Hwan Bae and Liover Peguero each scored two runs for Pittsburgh, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

Keller (10-8) picked up his first victory since June 28. He finished with 12 strikeouts, the fourth double-digit strikeout game of his career and one off his career-high of 13 set May 14 at Baltimore. David Bednar, despite giving up an RBI single to Jorge Polanco in the ninth, picked up his 26th save.

Polanco finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run, Christian Vazquez had two doubles and scored twice, and Michael A. Taylor and Max Kepler each had two hits and an RBI for Minnesota,

Sonny Gray (6-6), despite throwing 5 1/3 perfect innings to start the contest, took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven.

Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Polanco singled, stole second and scored on a comebacker by Kepler that caromed off Keller’s foot and into right field for a double.

The Twins extended the lead to 2-0 in the fifth when Vazquez lined a two-out, ground-rule double down the right-field line and scored on a single by Taylor.

After retiring the first 16 batters he faced, Gray was touched for three runs on four hits and walk in the sixth as Pittsburgh took a 3-2 lead.

Peguero broke up the perfect game with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Polanco. Delay followed with a bloop single and Bae then walked to load the bases. After Bryan Reynolds struck out, McCutchen singled to center to drive in Peguero and Delay. Hayes then gave the Pirates a 3-2 lead with a line single to left to drive in Bae.

Pittsburgh extended its lead to 4-2 in the seventh when Bae sliced a two-out double off the left-field wall to drive in Jack Suwinski, who had walked.

Minnesota cut it to 4-3 in bottom of the seventh when Vazquez led off with a double, went to third on a single by Edouard Julien and scored on a sacrifice fly by Polanco.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.