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Bucs bash Brewers 9-0, take 2 of 3

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MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Frazier, Jordy Mercer and Josh Bell all went deep, providing more than enough runs as Chad Kuhl had his best start in the major league, allowing only a single hit along with one walk and eight strikeouts over seven innings. Richard Rodriguez put in another solid bid for the eighth inning role as he finished up the game by striking out six of the seven batters he faced.

Frazier led off the first with a shot into the right field seats, his second homer of the year. With two outs Josh Bell walked and raced home on Corey Dickerson’s double to left center, giving the Pirates an early 2-0 lead.

That looked a bit shaky as Kuhl went to a full count on the first three batters he faced in the game, throwing 18 pitches, but he managed to retire all three in order. Domingo Santana lined a single to center with one out in the second, but was quickly erased on a double play grounder. Santana also drew a walk in the fifth as did Jonathan Villar in the sixth, but those would be the only times a Brewer would reach base against Kuhl.

The Pirates add their third run in the second on Jordy Mercer’s first round tripper, then exploded for four in the sixth as Starling Marte’s triple and a single by Dickerson chased Anderson, and then they beat up on reliever Jacob Barnes with four straight singles, including an infield hit by Colin Moran and a bunt single by pitcher Kuhl.

Josh Bell smashed a 113 mph blast over the right center fence in the seventh and Gregory Polanco’s eighth inning sac fly driving in Moran set thefinal at 9-0.

Meanwhile Rodriguez’s collection of high fastballs and darting sliders totally befuddled the Milwaukee lineup. In 11 13 innings, he’s allowed only one run with zero walks and 21 punch outs.

Monday’s an off day while the Pirates the Pirates make the long trip south to Chicago, where Ivan Nova will face Lucas Giolito and the White Sox at 8:10 p.m. eastern time on Tuesday.