Polanco, McCutchen lead Pirates past Phillies

  • By Aaron Bracy
    Associated Press
July 7, 2017
The Pirates Josh Bell points as he rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run off Phillies starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson during the fourth inning Thursday. - Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – Gregory Polanco had four hits with a home run and two RBIs, and Josh Bell homered, doubled and drove in three runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night.

Andrew McCutchen added three hits with two doubles for the Pirates, who have won three straight.

Aaron Altherr had two hits and two RBIs for the Phillies.

Chad Kuhl (3-6) allowed three runs – two earned – and six hits in a career-high seven innings.

Juan Nicasio pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.

Bell made up for his third-inning defensive gaffe with a two-run homer in the fourth that gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. He then broke a 3-all tie in the eighth with a double to right field off Joaquin Benoit (1-3) that scored the go-ahead run.

Philadelphia went up 1-0 when Andrew Knapp scored from first base after Bell wasn’t paying attention on catcher Elias Diaz’s pickoff attempt. The ball went all the way to the right-field corner. Bell might have been distracted as Andres Blanco’s bat went flying out of his hands and into the stands on the play.

After Bell’s homer made it 2-1, two batters later Polanco lined starter Jeremy Hellickson’s changeup into the seats in right to give the Pirates a two-run lead.

Altherr tied it at 3 in the seventh with a two-run single. However, he was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the single into a double. It was the second time that happened to Altherr and the third time to a Phillie in the game. Odubel Herrera was caught trying to reach second right after Altherr in the second inning.

Left fielder Jose Osuna got an assist on all three plays. The last time the Pirates had three assists by an outfielder was 1991 when Cecil Espy did it.

The game was delayed 47 minutes at the start by rain and was played under a persistent drizzle for most of the night.

Early fireworks

A crowd of 33,059 sat through the weather in anticipation of postgame fireworks. Whether by accident or not, some fireworks were shot off with one out in the top of the seventh causing reliever Pat Neshek to step off the mound until they were finished.

Hellickson update

Hellickson allowed three runs and five hits with four strikeouts and no walks in six innings in what could have been one of his last starts for the Phillies before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Nobody left

Despite six hits and three walks, the Phillies didn’t leave any runners on base.

Trainer’s room

Pirates: Bell was drilled in the lower back on Altherr’s throw from right field as he was sliding into second in the eighth inning. After some assistance from the trainer, he remained in the game.

Phillies: Rookie OF Nick Williams was not in the lineup a day after crashing hard into the wall in right field, but he lined out to left field as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning.

Up next

Pirates: Pittsburgh opens a three-game series at the Cubs today. RHP Trevor Williams (3-3, 4.67) pitches for the Pirates against RHP Eddie Butler (4-3, 4.18). Williams is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three appearances, including one start, against the Cubs this season.

Phillies: Philadelphia opens a three-game home set against San Diego today with RHP Nick Pivetta (2-4, 4.85) facing Padres LHP Clayton Richard (5-8, 4.85).

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