Surging Pirates blow out Indians again
Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell each hit a two-run homer, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cleveland Indians 9-4 on Tuesday night for their 11th straight win.
The Pirates routed the Indians for the second straight night. Marte homered in the first inning, drove in three runs and extended his career-high hitting streak to 17 games.
Polanco homered and Corey Dickerson tripled in two runs when Pittsburgh scored five times in the second. Bell hit a home run in the fifth. The Pirates have homered in a season-high nine straight games, hitting 22 home runs in that span.
Pittsburgh has won 11 in a row for the first time since Sept. 12-22, 1996. The Pirates have won 13 of 14 and are 17-8 since June 24. Pittsburgh has outscored its opponents 43-8 in the last five games.
Joe Musgrove (4-4) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings for his first win since June 29.
Shane Bieber (5-2), called up from Triple-A Columbus to make the start, allowed seven runs in 12/3 innings. The short outing forced the Indians to use seven relievers.
Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion returned after missing two games with a bruised right hand and hit a leadoff homer in the fourth. Brandon Guyer added a solo homer in the eighth.
Pittsburgh rolled to a 7-0, rain-shortened win over reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber on Monday. The offense jumped ahead early again when Dickerson doubled to start the game and Marte drove a 2-1 pitch into the left field bleachers for his 16th homer.
Pittsburgh’s second-inning runs came with two outs. Dickerson’s drive with runners on first and second sent center fielder Tyler Naquin to the wall. Naquin attempted to make a leaping catch, but the ball glanced off the side of his glove and rolled along the track.
Marte followed with an infield hit, and Polanco belted his 18th home run to right. Bell hit his sixth homer to right off Neil Ramirez.
The Pirates are 12-2 in interleague play and have won eight in a row against AL teams.
Cleveland snapped a scoreless streak of 15 innings in the first on Jose Ramirez’s RBI groundout.
Pirates: Dickerson was removed in the bottom of the fourth with left hamstring discomfort after going 2 for 3.
Indians: LHP Andrew Miller (right knee inflammation) allowed four runs in one-third of an inning on a rehab assignment for Double-A Akron on Tuesday. He retired one of the five batters he faced and threw 24 pitches.
Jameson Taillon (7-7, 3.80 ERA) faces Indians’ All-Star Trevor Bauer (8-6, 2.44) in the series finale today. Taillon has never faced Cleveland while Bauer beat the Pirates in his only appearance against them in 2015.