Bell caps historic month in style, Pirates top Brewers 9-4
Josh Bell finished off his historic May with two more hits, Starling Marte added three hits and scored three times and the Pittsburgh Pirates pounced on struggling Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin in a 9-4 victory Friday night.
Bell went 2 for 5 and drove in a run in front of a crowd that included fans in the right-field seats wearing "Bellieve" T-shirts as part of a promotion that doubled as an All-Star Game push for the 26-year-old first baseman. Bell's two singles gave him 94 total bases in May, the most by any player in any month in the franchise's 138-year history. Bell hit .389 in May with 12 home runs, 12 doubles and 31 RBIs.
Kevin Newman extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games with a pair of hits, including a two-run single off reliever Freddy Peralta in the third to cap a six-run outburst that put the Pirates firmly in control.
Chris Archer (2-5) gave up early home runs to Jesus Aguilar and Keston Hiura, but settled down to work seven innings and pick up his first victory since April 7. Archer struck out seven and walked two while needed only 92 pitches to get 21 outs as the injury-ravaged Pirates won for only the third time in their last 11 games.
Chacin (3-7) fell to 1-7 in his last 10 starts when his command briefly abandoned him in the third inning.
The 11-year-veteran walked four batters in the frame, three of them with the bases loaded, including a five-pitch walk to Archer that pushed Pittsburgh's lead to 5-1. Peralta replaced Chacin and Newman delivered a liner to left field that allowed Colin Moran and Adam Frazier to score and push Pittsburgh's advantage to 7-1.
Chacin -- a 15-game winner last season for a team that reached the National League Championship Series -- saw his ERA balloon to 5.74 after being charged with seven runs in 2 2/3 innings, with two strikeouts. His four walks marked a season high and he threw just 40 of his 76 pitches for strikes.
Aguilar hit his first home run in a month when he took Archer to the bushes beyond the center-field wall in leading off the third. Hiura pushed Milwaukee's home run total to 98 -- tops in the National League -- with a three-run shot to center in fourth.
Hiura had three of Milwaukee's six hits, but the second baseman was also charged with two of the Brewers' three errors on a funky play in the seventh when a liner by Jacob Stallings deflected off Peralta's glove to Hiura, who couldn't corral it initially, then threw into the Milwaukee dugout when he rushed his throw in an effort to get Stallings.
Brewers: C Manny Pina (right hamstring discomfort) is expected to rejoin Milwaukee over the weekend. Pina is hitting .300 (3 for 10) during a rehab stint with Class A Wisconsin entering Friday.
Pirates: RHP Jordan Lyles (left hamstring discomfort) will start Sunday's series finale. Lyles exited a loss to Cincinnati last Tuesday after tweaking the hamstring in the fourth inning. ... RHP Keone Kela will be shut down for 10 days after the right shoulder discomfort that sent him to the injured list popped back up during a rehab assignment.
Brewers: Brandon Woodruff (7-1, 3.22 ERA) will look for his seventh straight win on Saturday. Woodruff entered the season with five career victories spread across 2017 and 2018. He limited the Phillies to one run in eight innings last Sunday.
Pirates: Nick Kingham (1-1, 8.28) hasn't won a game as a starter since last July, but will get the nod on Saturday. Kingham -- who has bounced between the bullpen and the rotation this season -- allowed three runs in 4 2/3 innings against Cincinnati on Monday.