PITTSBURGH (AP) – Josh Bell tied a career with four hits, Gregory Polanco homered and both drove in two runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
The fourth-place Pirates have won five of their last six. First-place Milwaukee has lost four of five and its lead has been cut to a half-game over the Chicago Cubs.
Nick Kingham (4-4) tied a career high with nine strikeouts and allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings. Kyle Crick got four outs for his second save of the season.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gregory Polanco points upward as he scores after hitting a solo home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Junior Guerra during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 13, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra (6-6) yielded six runs, nine hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out four.
The Pirates scored three runs in the first on Polanco’s sacrifice fly, an RBI single by Colin Moran and Bell’s run-scoring double.
Polanco hit his 14th home run of the season in the fourth inning.
The Pirates added two more in the fifth when Moran scored on Bell’s double with the aid of Lorenzo Cain’s error. Jordy Mercer then drove in Bell with a double.
Bell drove in Moran again with a triple in the eighth.
Brewers reliever Brandon Woodruff, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs, pitched three innings of one-hit relief and hit his first career home run.
Brewers: RF Eric Thames left the game in the second inning with left hamstring tightness. Hernan Perez replaced him.
Pirates: INF/OF Sean Rodriguez went 1 for 2 with a home run and two walks in his rehab appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (6-6, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start the first game of a doubleheader Saturday, with LHP Brent Suter (8-5, 4.53 ERA) following in the second game.
Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (5-6, 4.50 ERA) is in line to start the first game, followed by RHP Clay Holmes (0-1, 7.11 ERA), who is expected to be recalled from High-A Bradenton as the 26th man. It will be Holmes’ second MLB start.
Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Nick Kingham throws to a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 13, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Pittsburgh Pirates’ Francisco Cervelli (29) signals for Colin Moran to slide as he tried to score from first on a double by Josh Bell during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Friday, July 13, 2018, in Pittsburgh. Moran was out. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Eric Thames chases a fly ball by Pittsburgh Pirates’ Corey Dickerson that went for a double off the wall during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 13, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Brandon Woodruff runs home after hitting a solo home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Nick Kingham, right, during the sixth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 13, 2018, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)