Pirates rally past Marlins, win series
MIAMI — Josh Bell padded his NL-leading RBI total and helped the Pittsburgh Pirates to a series-clinching victory.
Bell’s go-ahead double in the seventh inning lifted the Pirates over the Miami Marlins, 5-4, on Sunday.
The Pirates rallied from a 4-2 deficit on Corey Dickerson’s pinch-hit RBI double off Miami starter Sandy Alcantara in the sixth and took the lead in the seventh against reliever Nick Anderson (2-3) on Melky Cabrera’s game-tying triple and Bell’s double that scored Cabrera.
That was Bell’s 65th RBI. He had 62 last season.
“It’s great,” Bell said. “Hopefully, I’ll continue to progress and continue to trust the process.”
Cabrera went 2 for 4 and Kevin Newman also had two hits for the Pirates, who won the series after ending a seven-game slide Friday. The Pirates finished with seven extra-base hits and the leadoff hitter reached in six of the first seven innings.
“Huge, whenever you put the pressure on them and start getting each pitcher into the stretch, you know they’re getting out of their comfort zone and we took advantage,” Bell said.
Richard Rodríguez (1-3) pitched a scoreless sixth, and Kyle Krick got the next five outs. Felipe Vázquez pitched 1 1/3 innings around Austin Dean’s pinch-hit single in the ninth for his 16th save.
“We pitched a little bit better than them and we swung the bats a little bit better than them and we handled the ball defensively,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “So those are pretty good recipes for success.”
In the Pirates’ 4-3 loss Saturday, Hurdle lifted Dario Agrazal, who made his major league debut, after he allowed three runs in the fourth inning. Hurdle had more patience with Pirates starter Chris Archer and allowed him to pitch the fifth. Archer threw 41 pitches in the first three innings before enduring a 45-pitch fourth.
“Because of the experience, because of the ability to pitch,” Hurdle said. “Archer — he’s our ace. He’s our guy. You trust the people you’re willing to trust.”
Archer allowed Ramírez’s two-out double in the fifth before finishing the inning and then Hurdle opted for his relievers.
“I minimized it as much as I could,” Archer said. “Our team stepped up and bailed me out. I’m really happy about that.”
Alcantara gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked two.
“Obviously, was not totally clean,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said of Alcantara’s outing. “It seemed like he had battles every inning. Early on, he had some traffic (on the bases) but got out of trouble.”
Alcantara felt he could have continued after his 85-pitch performance.
“I was competing. I was working hard every inning, and just trying to do my best,” Alcantara said. “I don’t think I pitched a bad game today, but the manager took me out and nothing I can do about that.”
The Marlins erased a two-run deficit, scoring four in the fourth on Harold Ramírez’s three-run home run and Alcantara’s RBI single. Ramírez drove Archer’s fastball over the wall in left-center for his second homer of the season.
Archer allowed four runs, seven hits, struck out eight and walked three in five innings.
Jung Ho Kang’s two-run double in the fourth gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Kang drove in Colin Moran and Bell, who reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on Moran’s single to right.