PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pinch-hitter Erik Gonzalez’s two-run single highlighted a four-run rally in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Tuesday night.
A three-run homer by pinch-hitter Yasmani Grandal in the top of the seventh put the White Sox ahead 3-2 after they were held scoreless on two hits through six innings.
But the Pirates answered in the bottom half against rookie reliever Garrett Crochet (2-4), who was charged with four runs without getting an out.
Gonzalez’s hit put Pittsburgh ahead 5-3 and helped extend Chicago’s losing streak to five games, the longest of the season for the AL Central leaders. The Pirates have won three of four since a 10-game losing streak.
“We haven’t had a lot of luck the last few weeks in getting the big hit,” second baseman Adam Frazier said. “It seems like the other teams get a big hit and we don’t answer. Maybe this will get the ball rolling a little bit.”
The White Sox are rolling in the wrong direction. They were swept in a four-game series at Houston last weekend, getting outscored 27-8 by the Astros.
“It’s kind of like a test right now,” starting pitcher Lucas Giolito said. “Rough series (in Houston) and we drop this first game. Maybe a little wakeup call we need. We have to come ready to play from the beginning of the game.
“We have to try to learn from these last few days. Come out maybe a little more aggressive, hair on fire tomorrow and get back on track.”
Frazier homered for the Pirates, and Bryan Reynolds had two hits and two RBIs.
David Bednar (1-1) got the last out of the seventh for his first major league win. Richard Rodriguez earned his ninth save in 11 tries with a 1-2-3 ninth as the Pirates won for the third time in four games.
Grandal’s home run off starting pitcher Tyler Anderson was his 11th of the season and fourth as a pinch-hitter in his 10-year career. The lead didn’t last long after Giolito was removed for a pinch-hitter later in the inning.
Greogry Polanco and Phillip Evans hit back-to-back singles to start the Pittsburgh seventh. Kevin Newman then beat out a bunt for a single and Polanco scored the tying run when third baseman Yoan Moncada made a wide throw to first for an error.
“It was intended to be a sacrifice but it was placed better than I intended and I got on base so it was a win-win,” Newman said.
Gonzalez followed by grounding his go-ahead single into left field. Reynolds added an RBI single later in the inning to make it 6-3.
Anderson allowed three runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts and one walk. In six innings, Giolito gave up two runs on four hits while striking out seven and walking two.
Giolito threw a no-hitter against the Pirates last season in Chicago.
“We did not allow him to get easy outs all game long,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “We really battled. It’s a testament to our guys. This is a guy that no-hit us and we made him work the entire game.”
Frazier helped the Pirates take a 2-0 lead. He hit a solo home run in the third and walked and scored on Reynolds’ single in the sixth.
WHITE SOX LOSE ENGEL
White Sox outfielder Adam Engel went back on the injured list with a strained right hamstring. He missed the first 58 games of the season because of a similar injury.
Engel and Brian Goodwin had been splitting time in center field over the past 10 days. Luis Robert, the team’s regular center fielder and last year’s AL Rookie of the Year runner-up, has been out since May 3 with a strained right hip flexor.
In 10 games, Engel is hitting .241 with three home runs. There is no timetable for his return.
“An amateur’s guess, I’d say it’s going to be more than 10 days,” manager Tony La Russa said. “I’m disappointed for him and for us. He’s come back with a bang and done a lot of really good things.”
Outfielder Luis Gonzalez was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.
Tuesday began a stretch in which the Pirates are scheduled to play on 20 consecutive days leading up to the All-Star break.
Shelton said the Pirates are likely to call up some pitchers from the minor leagues to make spot starts in the coming days. That would give the regular members of the rotation extra rest and afford the rebuilding Pirates a chance to look at some of their prospects.
White Sox: RHP Michael Kopech (strained left hamstring) threw a bullpen and is expected to pitch a simulated game Friday. … OF Billy Hamilton (strained right oblique) is likely to start swinging a bat this weekend.
White Sox RHP Dylan Cease (5-3, 3.99 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Chase DeJong (0-1, 4.26) on Wednesday in the finale of the two-game series. Cease is 2-3 with a 6.89 ERA in seven road starts this season.
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