July 25, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Pirates snap 5-game skid

Alan Robinson

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Zach Duke allowed one run in six innings, Adam LaRoche drove in three runs and the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t wait to get into Cleveland’s slumping bullpen to start scoring, roughing up struggling starter Carl Pavano in a 10-6 victory over the Indians on Wednesday night.

The Pirates ended a five-game losing streak by scoring three runs in the second and six in the fourth. They finished with 14 hits against five pitchers, opening a 10-1 lead before the Indians scored five runs with two outs in the ninth.

The Indians lost their seventh in eighth games as Pavano (6-6) gave up 11 hits and eight runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. Pavano appeared to be on his way to a good season after winning six of seven decisions from May 1-June 5, but he has a 12.15 ERA in his last three starts.

Pavano’s ERA climbed to 5.80, even though shortstop Luis Valbuena’s throwing error on Freddy Sanchez’s grounder meant the Pirates’ final five runs in the fourth were unearned.

The Pirates had four consecutive hits against Pavano in the second, including rookie Andrew McCutchen’s two-run single. LaRoche contributed a two-run single in the fourth, when six straight batters reached base.

With the Pirates ahead 7-1 after Pavano was lifted, Jason Jaramillo hit his second career homer, against re-liever Jensen Lewis, to finish the fourth.

LaRoche added a solo homer, his 11th, against Tony Sipp in the sixth. The night before, LaRoche flied out to right field on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs as Cleveland held on to win 5-4 despite allowing four runs in the ninth.

Cleveland’s bullpen went into Wednesday’s game with an 0-4 record and 8.78 ERA in its previous seven games.

Duke (8-5), as usual, pitched much better at home than he does on the road. The left-hander gave up five hits and one run in six innings to improve to 6-2 in PNC Park, where he has gained each of his last five victories. He is 2-3 on the road.

Duke kept the ball in the park after yielding six homers in three starts, allowing only one extra base hit — Jamey Carroll’s double to start the game. Cleveland’s only run against Duke scored on Kelly Shoppach’s single in the fourth. Shoppach added a two-run homer and Grady Sizemore hit a three-run shot in the ninth against reliever Steven Jackson before Sean Burnett got the final out.

No doubt Duke appreciated the unaccustomed run support; the Pirates scored a combined four runs in his five losses.