Bryan Reynolds came through with another big hit and the Pirates stayed one step ahead of the heavy-hitting Rangers, pulling out a 7-5 victory Wednesday afternoon in Arlington.
With Texas leading 1-0, the Pirates loaded the bases against Shelby Miller with no outs in the fourth on a Starling Marte single and Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell walks. Melky Cabrera reached down and across the plate, part Vladimir Guerrero and part Ichiro Suzuki, slapping the ball through the left side of the infield to plate Marte and tie the score.
After a Colin Moran pop-up, Reynolds stepped up and worked a 3-1 count, then drove a fastball to left-center for a bases-clearing double and a 4-1 Pirates lead, chasing Miller from the game.
Jameson Taillon settled in after allowing a run on back-to-back doubles by Asdrubal Cabrera and Danny Santana in the second. That stopped in the sixth when Joey Gallo bonked one off the right-field foul pole (not Fowl Pole) for a solo homer, pulling the Rangers within 4-2.
The Bucs battled back with two runs in the top of the seventh with back-to-back RBI doubles off Kyle Dowdy from Marte and Polanco, taking a 6-2 lead.
Texas struck again in the bottom of the seventh, though. Santana tagged Taillon for a leadoff homer to right, and Jameson’s day was over after Elias Diaz couldn’t handle Delino DeShields Jr.’s one-out bunt. With one on, Richard Rodriguez came on and promptly served up a Shin-Soo Choo homer to right-center, and the Rangers trailed just 6-5.
Rodriguez escaped further damage, then the Pirates added yet another insurance run in the eighth. Dowdy issued a pair of walks to Cabrera and Reynolds, then Diaz singled in Cabrera’s pinch runner, J.B. Shuck.
Kyle Crick brought some stability with a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, but Felipe Vazquez ran into trouble in the ninth. He issued a leadoff walk to Santana and with one out DeShields doubled to left, putting the tying run on second base. Vazquez, though, battled to fan Choo and pinch hitter Hunter Pence to finally nail down the win.
Reynolds extended his hitting streak, getting a hit in all nine Major League games in which he has appeared. He’s slashing a cool .414/.433/1.157.
Taillon struck out five and walked two. He allowed five hits and four runs, three earned, in 6 1-3 innings.
On the heels of an eight-game losing streak, including two series sweeps, the Pirates (14-14) swept the mini-series in Texas. They return home for an off day, then host the 14-19 Oakland Athletics for a three games this weekend.