Pirates notebook: Top of batting order packing 1-2 punch
ATLANTA — Adam Frazier and Josh Harrison are forming a solid one-two punch atop the Pirates' lineup.
“Adam is doing a good job of setting the tone,” Harrison said. “I'm just coming right behind, trying to keep the line moving.”
In Thursday's 9-4 win against the Atlanta Braves, Frazier delivered a three-run homer out of the leadoff spot. Harrison reached on a double, two singles and a walk.
Over the four-game series, they combined to go 13 for 33 with seven runs scored and eight RBIs. Harrison bumped up his batting average to .304 and Frazier is hitting .361.
“They're what sets everything up,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “When you have a couple of guys who get on base, your opportunities to score are enhanced.”
Frazier hit a pair of three-run homers in a span of 16 hours — one off Julio Teheran in the second inning Wednesday, another off Bartolo Colon in the second inning Thursday.
“A few more games here might not be a bad thing,” said Frazier, who grew up about 90 minutes away in Watkinsville, Ga. “It was pretty awesome, especially last night when I had a bunch of people here. ... Well, I guess every night I had a bunch of people here.”
In 13 games this month, Frazier is batting .417 (20 for 48).
“He's got an approach that's what everybody talks about,” Harrison said. “You want to stay short and direct to the ball, and he seems to do it every day. It's nice to be behind him to see it.”
Harrison said he and Frazier have complementary styles at the plate.
“There are times when he'll be aggressive and others when he'll work the count,” Harrison said. “Other teams know that he and I back-to-back are two guys who will put the ball in play and who'll work at-bats in certain situations. If both of us get on base, we're even more dangerous.”
Taillon ramps it up
Jameson Taillon threw a 35-pitch bullpen session, his second such workout since having surgery May 8 for testicular cancer.
“This one was more of a competitive bullpen,” said Taillon, who ran some shuttles after pitching. “I'm tired, but it's all good.”
Taillon used all his pitches and also worked in some sequencing. Bullpen coach Euclides Rojas stood at the plate as a simulated batter.
“I think I struck out Euky a couple of times,” Taillon joked.
Gregory Polanco was activated from the 10-day disabled list, although he was not in the starting lineup against the Braves. Outfielder Danny Ortiz was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Polanco missed nine games because of a strained left hamstring. He came off the DL without making a minor league rehab stint. That is, in part, because of the DL being shortened by five games this year, which means players don't necessarily get as rusty being out of action.
“It was a good move, going to 10 days,” Polanco said. “It's easier to be ready for the 11th day.”
Back, back, back …
David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer hit consecutive home runs in the 10th inning of Wednesday's 12-5 win against the Braves. Per Elias, it was just the third time a team hit at least three homers in a row in the 10th inning or later.
The Minnesota Twins (Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Harmon Killebew) did it May 2, 1964, vs. Kansas City. The Royals (Carlos Beltran, Mike Sweeney and Joe Randa) did it May 31, 2002, vs. the Texas Rangers.
The seven-run 10th inning was the Pirates' biggest scoring spree in extra innings since they got eight in the 10th innings vs. the Cincinnati Reds on May 25, 2007, at Great American Ball Park.
Braves righty Josh Collmenter served up all three homers and was tagged for all the runs Wednesday. The next morning, he was designated for assignment, and the Braves called up reliever Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett.