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Josh Bell powers Pirates to a 7-2 victory over the Padres

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Pittsburgh Pirates v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The offense flexed its muscles last night as the Pirates hit four home runs, half of which came from Josh Bell’s first two at-bats, leading the way for a 7-2 victory over San Diego.

Bell hammered a slider off of Padres starter Nick Margevicius at 110 MPH exit velocity 430 feet for his first home run. His next came in the third inning, again off a slider, thought this one was hit a ‘modest’ 379 feet, and added three more runs for Pittsburgh

Bell, who hit from both sides of the plate last night, is truly in a zone right now given his splits favor hitting against right handed pitchers.

Rookie Bryan Reynolds also added a home run to the onslaught, rocking an 86 MPH four-seam fastball that was delivered right down the middle for his third of the season. As though he’s trying to rival Bell, Reynolds hard-hit rate, the percentage of contact that has an exit velocity of at least 95-MPH, is at 52%.

While the offense created some fireworks, Pirates pitching was enough to hold the Padres to just two runs.

‘The Opener’ Montana DuRapau didn’t give the Pirates a lot of confidence in their decision to ‘Bullpen’ as he threw his first pitch into the grass. A collective groan could be felt bellowing out of western Pennsylvania.

However, all was quickly forgiven. DuRapau pitched two innings, gave up just one hit and one walk with four strikeouts.

The story was different for Steven Brault, who struggled through 3.1 innings allowing two earned runs with four walks. The Buccos had a comfortable 6-2 lead when all was said and done.

The rest of the relievers kept the Padres at bay with Michael Feliz, Kyle Crick, Francisco Liriano, and Geoff Hartlieb combining for seven strikeouts with no runs and walks.

The ‘Bullpenning’ experiment seemed to work very smoothly for Pittsburgh, who may need to employ it a few more times before season’s end.

The Pirates finish up their four-game series this afternoon in San Diego at 4:10 EST with Joe Musgrove and Cal Quantrill as the respective starting pitchers.

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Are you confident in using the ‘Bullpenning’ strategy again?

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