Pirates start strong, fade late vs. Twins in 3rd straight loss
MINNEAPOLIS — Chris Archer continued his string of uneven performances since the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired him at the trade deadline, allowing four earned runs and six hits in five-plus innings in a 6-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
After allowing two runs in the second inning, Archer retired 10 straight batters before giving up back-to-back singles, including an RBI by Jorge Polanco, to start the sixth, ending his day. The Pirates have lost three in a row.
“They had some productive at-bats,” Archer said. “They fouled some. They had some good takes. But I got to be better than that. I am better than that. And I will be better than that.”
In his first three starts since coming over from the Tampa Bay Rays, Archer has allowed nine earned runs in 14 1 ⁄ 3 innings.
After a 1-2-3 first, the Pirates had at least two runners reach in three straight innings, with a two-run single by Gregory Polanco putting them up 4-2 in the fourth. Elias Diaz homered to start the inning.
Logan Forsythe’s two-run single off reliever Edgar Santana (2-2) highlighted a three-run sixth as the Twins took a 5-4 lead. Bobby Wilson homered in the seventh.
Josh Harrison had three hits for the Pirates, who were 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Forsythe had three RBIs, and the Minnesota bullpen tossed 5 1 ⁄ 3 shutout innings.
In 13 games with the Twins since being acquired from the Dodgers in the Brian Dozier trade, Forsythe is hitting .386 with six multihit games. He had eight in 70 games this season with Los Angeles.
“It’s about consistency and these guys throwing me out there every day and letting me play my game is luckily paying off getting some hits and playing some good ball,” he said.
Oliver Drake, Gabriel Moya (3-0), Tyler Duffey and Taylor Rogers allowed five hits and struck out three before Trevor Hildenberger picked up his third save in four chances.
Minnesota is 16-4 in its past 20 home games.
Twins starter Jose Berrios allowed four runs — three earned — as he labored through 3 2/3 innings, his shortest start since April 29.
Notes : Pirates outfielder Starling Marte missed the game with an illness. … Shortstop Jordy Mercer, who left Tuesday’s came with left calf discomfort, did not play. … The Pirates hope to have RHP Chad Kuhl, out since June 26 with a right forearm strain, begin a throwing program during its seven-game homestand that starts Thursday against the Cubs. He’s eligible to return Aug. 26. … Umpire Joe West worked his 5,164th career game, passing Bruce Froemming for second all time. Bill Klem worked 5,375.