The Pittsburgh Pirates try to match a season-high with their fourth straight win this evening when they continue a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at PNC Park.
Pittsburgh continued to swing the bats in the opener of this set on Tuesday, as Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run to power the Pirates to a 7-2 win.
Josh Harrison crushed a solo home run among his three hits and scored three times, while Clint Barmes added three hits, including an RBI double for the Pirates, who have managed to outscore their opponents, 25-9, over the streak.
The 25 runs are significant considering the Pirates are tied with the San Diego Padres for the fewest runs scored in the majors this season (229). They also totaled double-digit hits for a third straight game and improved to 16-2 when doing so.
"It's always good to feel it, to do it," manager Clint Hurdle said. "So now, it's fresh on their minds. They're capable of it. They know the places they've gone, either mentally or physically, to get better, for us to drive some balls, and be more offensive-minded. It wasn't just Pedro. Even in Baltimore, we were able to throw two six-run games up there in losing efforts. We were able to score nine a couple times there. For me, it still comes down to them finding a way to relax in the batter's box. If that continues more, we're gonna get more out of what we think we're capable of."
Kevin Correia (3-6) tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory. He scattered four hits to go with a walk and two strikeouts. Juan Cruz allowed two runs in the seventh, but Chris Resop sealed the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
Denard Span accounted for the only runs of the night with a two-run homer for the Twins, who have dropped five of their last six games. Trevor Plouffe added two hits in the loss.
Scott Diamond (5-3) yielded four runs on eight hits with a strikeout and two walks in defeat.
Hoping that the bats stay alive for the Pirates tonight will be lefty Erik Bedard, who has looked bad in losing two of his last three starts. Bedard was roughed up by the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, as he gave up seven runs in just 3 1/3 innings against his former team to fall to 4-7 on the season, while raising his ERA to 4.36.
"He wasn't ahead of a lot of hitters early, but then when he did get to two strikes: foul balls, extended counts, not being able to have a put-away pitch," Bedard said.
Bedard, though, has been much more successful at PNC Park this year, owning a 2.45 ERA compared to a 6.27 mark on the road.
Bedard has faced the Twins 12 times and is 2-5 with a 4.13 ERA.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with rejuvenated lefty Francisco Liriano, who has pitched well since returning to the rotation. Liriano was removed as a starter after opening the year 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA. But, since returning to the rotation on May 30, he has pitched to a 3.04 ERA, although, he has only posted a 1-2 mark.
Liriano didn't get a decision on Friday against Milwaukee, as he allowed three runs and one hit in six innings. He did walk four batters, though, in the 5-3 loss.
"Frankie threw the ball really well but just had that one bad inning," manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Liriano is 1-1 in two starts versus the Pirates with a 3.86 ERA.
Minnesota took two of three from the Pirates the last time these teams met back in 2009.