ShareThis Page
Pirates

Josh Bell homers, Ivan Nova gets win for Pirates

| Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, 5:44 p.m.
Pirates center fielder Starling Marte celebrates after driving in a run during the fourth inning against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates center fielder Starling Marte celebrates after driving in a run during the fourth inning against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Pirates pitcher Ivan Nova smiles as he leaves the field after pitching six scoreless innings against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Ivan Nova smiles as he leaves the field after pitching six scoreless innings against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Pirates pitcher Ivan Nova delivers during the fourth inning against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Ivan Nova delivers during the fourth inning against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell rounds the bases past third base coach Joey Cora after hitting a home run against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell rounds the bases past third base coach Joey Cora after hitting a home run against the Marlins Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at PNC Park.

PITTSBURGH — Josh Bell has homered in consecutive games following three days off. He doesn’t think it’s a coincidence.

“I was able to kind of reflect a little bit,” Bell said. “Take a step back, watch some baseball, get some work done in the cages and get back to the basics.”

The switch-hitting first baseman combined with Ivan Nova, who got his first victory in a month, to help the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins, 5-1, Saturday for their fifth consecutive win.

In a game played in a steady drizzle, Bell connected off Brett Graves leading off the sixth for his 10th home run, down from 26 last year when he finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Before his home run Friday, Bell had not driven in a run since Aug. 11.

Manager Clint Hurdle did not play Bell on Tuesday or Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds, and the Pirates were off Thursday.

“Just like everybody else, we’ve had a sit down and talked about finishing strong, putting some staples on this season and building some momentum toward next year,” Hurdle said.

Nova (8-9) gave up three hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked three. He had lost three straight starts since beating San Francisco on Aug. 9 and had missed his previous turn for an undisclosed reason.

“I was doing my workouts while I was away,” Nova said. “I’m a professional athlete, and I was taking care of my business to make sure I was still ready to pitch.”

Nova improved his career record against the Marlins to 4-0.

“He’s handcuffed us pretty much every time we’ve seen him over the last couple of years,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said.

The Pirates at 71-71 reached .500 for the first time since before play Aug. 21.

“Winning matters every day but, yeah, I think we would all like to finish the season strong,” Hurdle said.

Wei-Yin Chen (6-10) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, dropping to 1-7 with a 9.13 ERA in 11 road starts. He is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 home outings.

Chen said he did not have a good feel for the ball in the wet conditions.

“It’s the command. Maybe it’s the weather, it’s the rain, but as a player, that’s what you have to overcome,” Chen said. “That’s not a reason you can say: ‘because it’s the rain.’ As a player, you have to be able to pitch in the rain.”

Jose Osuna doubled leading off the second and scored on Kevin Newman’s single. The Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the fourth, when Jacob Stallings had a two-out RBI single and center fielder Lewis Brinson allowed the ball to bounce past him for an error that let Jose Osuna score from first.

Starling Marte hit an RBI double in the seventh off Elieser Hernandez.

Miguel Rojas scored on Nick Kingham’s wild pitch in the eighth for already-eliminated Miami, which dropped to 56-68.

Pirates RF Gregory Polanco (bone bruise in left knee) will miss the remainder of the season. He was forced from Friday’s game in the sixth inning following an awkward slide into second base on a double.

Trevor Williams (12-9, 3.15 ERA), who is 6-2 with a 0.66 ERA in his last nine starts, will start Sunday. He has allowed just four runs in his past 542/3 innings.

Marlins RHP Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00) will make his second start after giving up three runs in three innings against Toronto in his major league debut Sept. 2.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me