McCutchen sparks record-tying home run barrage as Pirates sink Mariners 11-6
SEATTLE (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit the 21st leadoff homer of his career, the first of four home runs off Seattle starter George Kirby, and the Pittsburgh Pirates matched a franchise record with seven long balls on their way to an 11-6 win over the Mariners on Friday night.
The seven home runs more than doubled Pittsburgh’s previous high for a game this season (three) and marked the third time since 1901 the Pirates hit seven in a game. They previously did it in 2003 and 1947, both against St. Louis.
McCutchen’s towering drive on the second pitch of the game was his eighth of the season and just the beginning for the Pirates. Jack Suwinski had his second multi-homer game of the season, with a two-out, two-run shot to center field off Kirby in the fifth inning and a long solo homer to right in the seventh.
Bryan Reynolds finished with four RBIs including a two-run triple, an RBI single and his seventh homer all in his final three at-bats.
Carlos Santana, a key piece of Seattle’s playoff run last season, Ke’Bryan Hayes and Tucupita Marcano all added solo shots. Hayes’ homer was his second of the season, first since April 15, and it ended Kirby’s night after 4 2/3 innings.
Kirby (5-4) endured his most miserable outing of the year. The seven earned runs and four homers allowed both matched career highs from last season when he was knocked around in a loss to Baltimore. Kirby gave up nine hits and struck out four.
It was supposed to be a stellar matchup of two young right-handers with Kirby and Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller on the mound. Keller wasn’t at his best, either, but worked into the seventh to win his third straight decision.
Keller (6-1) allowed six runs on seven hits and struck out eight. He came back out for the seventh inning even with a big lead and promptly gave up a two-run homer to J.P. Crawford that ended his night.
Julio Rodríguez hit an opposite-field homer in the first inning for Seattle and added a two-run single in the fifth.
Seattle’s Ty France was hit on the brim of his helmet by a 93 mph fastball from Keller in the fifth. It was the second time this week France received a scare from an inside fastball. He was hit on the outside of his left hand Tuesday against Oakland and sat out one game due to swelling.
Pirates: RHP Roansy Contreras (3-4, 4.50 ERA) has lost his last three decisions and given up at least one homer in each of his past four starts after not allowing one in his first five outings this season.
Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (3-2, 2.97) threw six shutout innings in his last start against Oakland after struggling for the better part of a month. Castillo struck out eight and scattered four hits against the A’s. He’s 5-4 with a 2.51 ERA in 13 career starts against Pittsburgh.
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Tim Booth, The Associated Press