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Pittsburgh Pirates swing past struggling Minnesota Twins

Apr 25, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Phillip Evans (24) celebrates with designated hitter Todd Frazier (99) after scoring a run against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Gregory Polanco homered and had three hits and Bryan Reynolds added a pair of RBI doubles to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Adam Frazier went 3-for-5 with one RBI and run scored for Pittsburgh which won its third consecutive road series while improving to 10-5 over its last 15 games.

Clay Holmes (1-0), the second of five pitchers for the Pirates, picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief.

Nelson Cruz moved into a tie for the American League lead with his seventh home run of the season, Luis Arraez went 2-for-3 with a walk and run scored and Byron Buxton had an RBI single for Minnesota which lost for the 11th time in its last 13 games.

Pittsburgh jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with three straight hits to open the game against Twins starter Matt Shoemaker (1-2). Frazier led off with a line drive single to right, took second on a single by Phillip Evans and scored on a bloop double down the left-field line by Reynolds. Colin Moran then drove in Evans with a sacrifice fly.

Minnesota cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the first when Buxton lined a single to left to drive in Arraez, who had singled and advanced to third on a single by Josh Donaldson.

The Pirates extended their lead to 5-1 in the seventh when they parlayed five hits into three runs. Kevin Newman and Frazier each had RBI singles while Reynolds added an RBI double.

After Polanco made it 6-1 in the eighth with his third home run of the season, a 419-foot drive into the bleachers in right-center, Cruz led off the bottom half of the inning with a homer to cut it to 6-2. It was the 424th home run of Cruz’s career, moving him into a tie for 52nd place on the all-time list with Edwin Encarnacion.

–Field Level Media