Pirates sweep Marlins for 6th straight win

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jung Ho Kang hit a two-run single as the Pittsburgh Pirates used a big seventh inning to complete a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a 5-2 victory on Wednesday.

Andrew McCutchen finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Josh Harrison, Pedro Alvarez and Starling Marte each drove in a run during a five-run seventh for the Pirates, who have won six straight games.

"We're heading in the right direction," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "For a way too long we were a good team playing mediocre baseball."

Starter Gerrit Cole (7-2) earned the win after tossing seven innings of two- run ball with no walks and seven strikeouts.

The Pirates have won 11 of their last 12 games against the Marlins at PNC Park and swept the Marlins at home for the first time since Aug. 6-8, 2013.

Justin Bour and Christian Yelich each homered for Miami, which has lost 11 of their last 13 games.

"There are signs of good things, but there are other things that we have to step up and get done," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "We're not taking care of that right now in certain situations."

Brad Hand gave up just four hits over five scoreless frames in his first start of the season, but Miami's bullpen was unable to hold the lead.

After Mike Dunn gave up consecutive two-out base hits in the seventh, Harrison and Alvarez followed with RBI singles off Sam Dyson (2-2) for a tied game.

McCutchen was walked to load the bases and Marte followed by sitting still on a low fastball for ball four and the lead. Kang lined a two-run single over the head of a leaping Dee Gordon at second base to make it a 5-2 game.

Tony Watson struck out two during the eighth and Mark Melancon left runners on first and second for his 12th save of the season.

Bour crushed a hanging slider into the stands in right to start the second for an early Pirates lead. Two batters later, Yelich nearly homered as well, but Marte made a leaping catch at the left-field wall to keep it a one-run game.

J.T. Realmuto opened the fifth with a base hit and stole second before Gordon hit a two-out single to place runners on the corners. Cole left them stranded after striking out Martin Prado to end the frame.

Yelich increased the lead to 2-0 in the top of the seventh by stroking a 2-1 fastball to right for a leadoff blast.

Game Notes

The Pirates won six straight games for the first time since winning nine from June 20-30, 2013 ... Pittsburgh is 7-0 in day games at home this season ... Over the prior four games, Miami's bullpen allowed just one run and a walk ... Cole is 11-2 in his last 18 home starts ... Kang extended his hitting streak to nine games.