Josh Bell’s walk-off, two-run double in a driving rain in the bottom of the tenth inning on Sunday afternoon gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 7-6, 10-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers and a sweep-of a rare five-game series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The key hit completed the Pirates’ second rally of the game after they trailed 5-2 in the middle of the eighth inning and 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth frame. David Freese forced extra innings with a two-run, pinch-hit triple in the ninth.
Milwaukee call-up Brett Phillips recorded his fourth RBI of the game with an RBI single in the top of the tenth inning, but the Pirates (48-49) earned the win in the bottom of the frame off Brewers reliever Dan Jennings, who had also racked up a blown save by allowing the base hit by Freese.
Like Bell, Corey Dickerson, who homered in the second inning, tallied two hits and two RBI’s. Colin Moran had two hits and scored the winning run. The win went to Pittsburgh call-up Tanner Anderson (1-0), who was making his second Major League appearance and had given up Phillips’ go-ahead hit.
On Saturday, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco went back-to-back with home runs both games featuring Pittsburgh wins in a double-header sweep of the Brewers. The Bucs won by scores of 2-1 and 6-2. Jordan Luplow homered twice in the nightcap, and Max Moroff slammed his third homer of the season as the Piratess scored all but one of their runs on solo long balls.
Richard Rodriguez (2-2) and Clay Homes (1-1) earned the wins, and Pirates all-star Felipe Vazquez picked up saves in both contests, raising his season total to 23.
In Friday night’s 7-3 win by the Pirates, Bell punched four hits and drove home a pair of runs, Polanco had two RBI’s with a homer and a sacrifice fly, Dickerson doubled twice and Moran went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Pittsburgh rookie starter Nick Kingham (4-4) earned the win, going six-and-a-third innings, and allowing three runs and five hits. Kingham struck out nine batters and walked only one. Kyle Crick recorded the final four outs for his second save of the season.
The Pirates reached the All-Star break with six straight wins and eight in their last nine games, and trail the first-place Chicago Cubs by nine games in the National League Central Division. They will resume play on Friday night in Cincinnati.
Milwaukee (55-43) was knocked out of first place during the series in Pittsburgh. The Cubs (55-38) now lead the Brewers by two-and-a-half games.