McCutchen leaves game but Pirates top Blue Jays
TORONTO (AP) — Jameson Taillon pitched six innings to snap a three-start winless streak, Josh Harrison had two hits and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Friday night, their seventh win in nine games.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen limped off because of a sore left knee one batter after hitting an RBI double in the third.
Toronto lost for the first time in seven interleague games.
Taillon (7-5) allowed two runs and six hits. He left after Toronto put runners at second and third with no outs in the seventh. George Kontos came on and retired the next three batters.
Juan Nicasio worked the eighth and Felipe Rivero finished for his 12th save in 13 chances.
Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (10-6) allowed four runs, none earned, and four hits in eight innings, snapping a six-start unbeaten streak. The loss was his first since a July 3 road defeat against the Yankees.
Pittsburgh took advantage of two errors by Blue Jays second baseman Rob Refsnyder to score four unearned runs in the third. After making an errant throw to second while trying to force John Jaso on Francisco Cervelli’s grounder, Refsnyder failed to touch second base while trying to turn a double play on Adam Frazier’s hard shot to third, allowing the Pirates to score their first run.
Harrison followed with an RBI single, McCutchen hit an RBI double that ticked off center fielder Kevin Pillar’s glove, and Josh Bell capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.
Jose Bautista hit a solo home run for the Blue Jays, his third in three games after going 18 games without one. Bautista’s homer was his 20th, giving him eight straight seasons with at least that many. Carlos Delgado, who did it in nine straight seasons between 1996 and 2004, is the only other Blue Jay to achieve the feat.
Among active players, only Seattle’s Nelson Cruz (2009-2017) and Houston’s Brian McCann (2008-2016) have streaks longer than Bautista’s.
With manager Clint Hurdle attending the funeral of late slugger Don Baylor, bench coach Tom Prince managed the Pirates on Friday and will do so again Saturday. Hurdle is due back Sunday.
Pirates: McCutchen was replaced by Starling Marte.
Blue Jays: C Russell Martin left while warming up for the second inning because of a strained left oblique suffered in his first-inning at-bat. He was replaced by Raffy Lopez. … DH Kendrys Morales (illness) missed his second straight game.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (5-4, 4.17) pitched seven shutout innings against Detroit in his previous start. Williams has never faced the Blue Jays, but is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two interleague starts.
Blue Jays: RHP Chris Rowley will be promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to make his major league debut. A former first lieutenant in the United States Army, Rowley began the season at Double-A before moving up to Buffalo, where he went 3-4 with a 2.82 ERA in 10 games, including six starts.
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