- Associated Press - Saturday, August 19, 2017

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Adam Frazier and the Pittsburgh Pirates finished off a win at PNC Park, then packed their bags for a trip - to another home game about 200 miles away.

Frazier homered, doubled and singled to help the Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 Saturday, ending a six-game losing streak in a matchup delayed nearly two hours by rain.

On Sunday morning, both teams will fly to central Pennsylvania to play in the Little League Classic later that night in Williamsport.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said they sent Sunday starter Ivan Nova ahead earlier Saturday. With him already in place, the rain didn’t disrupt the Pirates much, but it could have if the game went on any longer.

“(Nova is) already there,” Hurdle said. “Probably just finishing up dinner. The key is to keep the guys fresh. I didn’t think there were any challenges. If we played longer tonight, there could’ve been some different challenges.”

The game will be held at the home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, the Philadelphia Phillies’ affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

Following the rain delay in the second, Frazier and Starling Marte hit two-run homers in a five-run inning. Pinch-hitter Jose Osuna homered in the sixth.

The Cardinals scored 11 runs in each of their two wins to start this series. Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer in the eighth and Jose Martinez homered in the ninth.

“I put us within striking distance, and Jose puts us a little closer,” DeJong said. “You can’t give away at-bats, late in a game, down by five runs, rain delay all those factors. You’ve just got to try to help the team win every time.”

Chad Kuhl (6-8) responded well following the rain delay, giving up one run and three hits in five innings. Felipe Rivero got his 13th save.

Hurdle said Kuhl “was willing to pitch if he had to wait until tomorrow” for the rain to stop.

Kuhl said he felt sharper once he returned to the mound.

“I had all the confidence in the world that I was going to be back out there,” he said. “(It was) never really was a question in my mind with the state of our bullpen not being so rested. I was 100 percent. No matter how long it took, I was ready.”

Michael Wacha (9-6) was tagged for five runs and seven hits in four innings.

Wacha retired the side in order in the first, but the Pirates scored five times in the second. A leadoff walk set up Frazier’s home run, and Kuhl later doubled before Marte connected.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny couldn’t say if the delay impacted Wacha.

“You can’t take anything out of the equation,” Matheny said. “He was good in the first. It’s a long wait, but it’s a long wait for their guy, too, and he got out there and he looked better when he got back out.”


Cardinals: RHP Josh Lucas, 26, came in to start the fifth inning in relief of Wacha. He worked around a pair of singles in his first inning and gave up Osuna’s homer the next inning. St. Louis recalled Lucas, who allowed one run on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings, from Triple-A Memphis and optioned RHP Mike Mayers on Friday.


Pirates: RHP Dovydas Neverauskas was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis while LHP Steven Brault was optioned to Indianapolis. He pitched a perfect fifth inning with one strikeout Saturday. Brault was recalled on Friday, after LHP Wade LeBlanc was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left quad strain.


Cardinals: RHP Mike Leake (7-11, 3.88) will try to bounce back from a poor start when he takes the mound against the Pirates in Williamsport. He surrendered eight runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Boston Red Sox last time out.

Pirates: Nova (10-10, 3.77) will look to build off his last start when he faces the Cardinals. He took the loss his last time out, but allowed just one earned run in six innings against Milwaukee.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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