The Pittsburgh Pirates pounded the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 on Thursday to take the last three of a four-game set at PNC Park.
Right fielder Travis Snider drove a 458-blast into the Allegheny River, his first home run in 105 plate appearances this season. Snider went 3 for 5 and drove in three runs to lead the Pirates to victory. The last time the Bucs won three straight against the Brew Crew in the same series was back on August 16-18 in 2009.
Center fielder Andrew McCutchen, left fielder Starling Marte, first baseman Garrett Jones, and catcher Russell Martin each had two hits for the Bucs.
Francisco Liriano had another good outing for the Bucs as he allowed just one run on six hits over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking only three. The lefthander improved his record to 2-0 on the season.
Pittsburgh’s record moved to 24-17 with the victory, matching its best start through the first quarter of the season in 21 years. The 1992 Bucs also began the season 24-17 and finished with 96 wins to capture the National League East.
Milwaukee starter Hiram Burgos saw his record drop to 1-2 as he was charged with three runs on eight hits over five innings.
The Brewers’ (16-23) only score came in the first inning when shortstop Jean Segura came home on catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s line drive single to center field. Andrew McCutchen kept things from getting out of hand with his leaping grab at the wall in center, robbing left fielder Ryan Braun of an extra-base hit.
The game was tied up in the bottom of the fourth, when shortstop Clint Barmes doubled to left field to score third baseman Pedro Alvarez to make the game 1-1.
Starling Marte began the bottom of the fifth with a bunt single. Then, Snider put the Pirates ahead to stay with his home run to straight-away center field.
In the home half of the sixth, the Bucs’ barrage continued with five consecutive hits off Milwaukee reliever Alfredo Figaro that produced four runs across the plate. Snider, McCutchen, Jones and Walker each collected an RBI single in the frame.
The Houston Astros (11-30) will be making their first visit to PNC Park as a member of the American League this weekend for a three-game series. Pittsburgh went 12-5 against Houston last season, going 8-2 at home against their former NL Central rivals. The Astros will send righthander Jordan Lyles (1-1, 8.36 ERA) to the mound, while the Pirates will counter with righthander Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.28 ERA).
From The Clipboard: Pittsburgh went 5 for 12 with runners in scoring position on Thursday to go along with their 13 hits….The Bucs are 22-0 when leading after eight innings….Clint Barmes has hit safely in seven straight games, and he has produced three multi-hit games in that time….Andrew McCutchen has stolen nine bases in 10 attempts this season.