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Small Ball Propels Pirates to Win Over Brew Crew

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates could not muster an extra-base hit Friday, but they were still able to scratch out plenty of offense to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-4.

The Pirates finished the night with 13 hits and five walks, with the big rally coming in a six run third inning. After starting the frame with three bloop singles, Brewers’ starter Jhoulys Chacin would wind up walking four more hitters, including three with the bases loaded.

Kevin Newman, who started the rally with a hit, wound up capping it with a two run single to left.

Every Pirate in the lineup wound up reaching first base in some fashion.

“You take what you get,” said Clint Hurdle. “...We’ve got some guys who are turning up with their swings, doing some good damage.”

Starling Marte lead the way, going 3-5 with three runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. That steal of second would result in the game’s first run when Josh Bell brought him home on a base knock to left in the first.

Colin Moran went 2-4 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored.

Chacin (3-7) was pulled after 2.2 innings, allowing seven earned runs.

Archer Gets The W

Chris Archer (2-5) was tagged for home runs in the third and fourth inning, but those were outliers in his first winning performance in nearly eight weeks. He fanned seven Brewers in seven innings pitched, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks.

His night could be attributed to two factors.

The first came in Cincinnati, when he had a second bullpen session, which is unusual for most starters, including him.

“When things are a little off, you try to touch that mound as much as you possibly can,” said Archer.

Jacob Stallings caught both of those bullpen sessions, with every pitch from Archer being a fastball. Archer said Stallings encouraged him to throw more heaters in the game, and he did, throwing it 48 times out of 92 pitches.

After the game, Stallings praised Archer for not just his fastball, but all five of his pitches.

“When he can do that, he is so hard to hit,” said Stallings. “I thought the use of his changeup early in the game opened up for his slider late in the game.”

Archer got five whiffs and two called strikes on 15 changeups and nine whiffs on 28 sliders.

The second came on the first pitch of the game, when shortstop Kevin Newman was able to snag a hot shot grounder to his left and throw against his body to beat the speedy Lorenzo Cain at first.

“It felt like, with that play, the tide turned for me,” Archer said. “All of a sudden, the game was fun again.

“When you go through some moments, just like in life, you forget to be present. To enjoy. And from the first pitch on, I enjoyed the whole outing. Even whenever it got a little shaky, I enjoyed the whole thing.”

Bell Breaks Bases Benchmark

Bell set a new Pirate record for most total bases in a month this May, finishing with 94 after a 2-5 performance.

The previous record was held by Ralph Kiner, who tallied 92 total bases in June of 1947.

“Yeah, that was a blast,” Bell said. “...A lot of hard hit balls, outs and hits. So a lot to celebrate.”

Bell will have to settle for tying the club’s monthly extra-base record with 24. He joins Paul Waner as the only Pirates to do it (June 1927, August 1928).

Bell also became just the third player in National League history with at least 12 home runs and 12 doubles in a calendar month, joining Hank Aaron (July 1961) and Frank Robinson (also in July of 1961),

On Deck

Nick Kingham (1-1, 8.28) will take on the red hot Brandon Woodruff (7-1, 3.22) Saturday. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m..

NUMB3RS

1. Bell is the first Pirate to start each of his team’s first 56 games batting clean-up since Bobby Bonilla in 1991 (59 games).

2. Archer is 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA (7 ER, 18 IP) in his three starts against the NL Central this year.

3. This is the first time the Pirates scored 9 or more runs without an extra-base hit since they beat the Cubs 10-0 on May 26, 2003, according to the Baseball-Reference Play Index.