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Pirates knock 16 hits, battle back to beat Marlins, 7-6

MLB: Miami Marlins at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Bell, Andrew McCutchen and Elias Diaz each had three hits, and Jordy Mercer and John Jaso extra-base hits capped the Pirates’ rally for a 7-6 win over the Marlins on Saturday at PNC Park, snapping the Pirates’ four-game losing streak.

Trailing 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh, McCutchen reached on a little tapper withone out, then David Phelps walked Diaz. Mercer drove one to left-center that Christian Yelich got to, but couldn’t hold on to, for a two-run triple, tying it at 6. Jaso then popped one to the right side, and it bounced just fair for a double, sending Mercer in for a 7-6 lead.

Juan Nicasio ran into trouble in the eighth, and Felipe Rivero came in to strike out Dee Gordon with two on and two outs, then pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for a four-out save. It was refreshingly effective bullpen usage, and a good sign to see right away from the new “closer” arrangement.

The Marlins jumped on Trevor Williams for three runs in the first, with a double by Marcell Ozuna driving in two and one from J.T. Realmuto plating another. Williams hit Giancarlo Stanton in the hand with a pitch in the first, and Stanton was removed from the game.

The Pirates came back to tie the score at 3 for a short time. Bell drilled one off the top of the center-field wall for a one-out triple, the first of his career, in the second. Then McCutchen knocked one off the base of the left-field wall for an RBI double. Diaz reached on a roller to put runners at the corners, but the Pirates couldn’t cash in further.

With two on and two out in the third Bell singled home Adam Frazier. McCutchen then doubled to left and Freese scored easily, but Bell was unwisely sent to score from first and was clearly out at home to end the inning.

Miami immediately retook the lead though, as the first two batters of the fourth, Realmuto and Derek Dietrich, crushed homers off of Williams. Realmuto’s hit about halfway up the batter’s eye.

The Pirates scored one on a double play (and eventually stranded two) in the bottom of the fourth. Miami added another run in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Ozuna and Realmuto off Edgar Santana, making his MLB debut.

The Pirates had multiple hits in six of the eight innings in which they batted. They stranded 10. The Marlins had 11 hits and left seven runners on base.

Diaz went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. McCutchen was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and Bell was 3-for-5, positive developments for both, while Diaz is making a case to stay up even once catchers Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are both healthy.

Jhan Marinez and Daniel Hudson pitched a scoreless, hitless inning of relief each.