Alvarez drives in six as Pittsburgh tops Cleveland
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Pedro Alvarez hit a pair of three-run home runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Cleveland Indians, 9-5, in the rubber match of a three-game interleague set at Progressive Field.
Alex Presley also hit a homer for Pittsburgh, which took the last two games of this series.
"It's a lot of fun to win some ballgames," said Alvarez. "I think we did a good job of scoring some runs, putting pressure on them and taking care of some their mistakes."
Pirates starter Brad Lincoln was ineffective, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk in just 3 1/3 innings. Tony Watson (4-0) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
Jeanmar Gomez (4-6) was touched for eight runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings to take the loss.
"He fell behind in the count a lot, but he made good pitches. We just didn't make plays for him," Indians manager Manny Acta said about Gomez.
Jason Kipnis had three hits, including a home run, and scored twice for the Indians, who lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Indians struck first in the bottom of the first inning with Kipnis' two- out blast into the bleachers in right-center field.
In the second inning, Johnny Damon singled, stole second and came home when Casey Kotchman's grounder to the right side was bobbled by Neil Walker in the right-field grass to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
After the Indians left runners on second and third in the third inning, Pittsburgh went on top in the fourth on Alvarez's three-run home run to right.
Andrew McCutchen singled and Casey McGehee reached on a throwing error by Asdrubal Cabrera on what could have been an inning-ending grounder up the middle prior to Alvarez's 11th homer of the season.
But Cleveland quickly regained the lead in the home half of the third. Damon led off the frame with a double and Lou Marson worked a walk before Shin-Soo Choo laced a two-run double to left, knocking Lincoln out of the game.
Watson entered in relief and retired the next two batters to keep it a 4-3 game.
The Pirates, though, battled back to take the lead for good in the fifth, starting with Presley's blast over the right-field wall.
Walker was given a free pass, McCutchen hit a ground-rule double and Garrett Jones was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. McGehee followed with a grounder to short, but Cabrera bobbled the ball and then slapped it past Kipnis at second base to allow Walker and McCutchen to score.
Gomez was then replaced by Esmil Rogers and Alvarez greeted the new pitcher with his second three-run shot of the game to give the Pirates a 9-4 lead.
Michael Brantley's RBI double in the seventh inning capped the scoring.
Gomez fell to 1-2 in three career interleague starts...Pittsburgh now leads the all-time series between the teams, 17-16...The Indians went 3-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base...Pittsburgh hit 2- for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded five.