SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on rookie lefty Nick Margevicius for a season home run milestone Saturday night.
Josh Bell homered twice and drove in four, rookie Bryan Reynolds connected for the second straight night and the Pirates had their first four-homer game of the season in beating the San Diego Padres 7-2.
Margevicius (2-5) allowed the four homers in four-plus innings.
“It was a really good day for us at the ballpark,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “A lot of guys contributed.”
Bell has three career multihomer games, all in his last 14 games. He also had two homers against Oakland on May 4 and at Arizona on Tuesday. He’s homered 14 times this year.
The switch-hitter homered to left leading off the second, followed by Reynolds’ shot, also to left. Bell homered to left-center with one out in the third, with Adam Frazier aboard on a single and Starling Marte on a double.
“That right-handed swing is stronger than we’ve seen it in the past, evident by the swings today,” Hurdle said. “Both those balls were hit very, very well. It’s two more homers than he hit all last year, and it’s just past the middle of May.”
Padres manager Andy Green said Margevicius’ fastball “was leaking on him from the beginning. I think that Josh Bell’s second home run was a pitch we wanted out of the zone for sure, and he left it in the middle of the plate for him.”
Reynolds has three homers, including one in Friday night’s 5-3 victory.
Polanco lined a homer to right leading off the fifth, his fourth, to chase Margevicius.
Bell and Elias Diaz each had three hits.
Pittsburgh used an opener for the first time, with rookie righty Montana DuRapau holding San Diego to one hit in two scoreless innings while striking out four and walking one. He was making his first big league start and fifth appearance. He was a 32nd-round selection — the 971st pick overall — in the 2014 draft and made his major league debut May 9.
After allowing Hunter Renfroe’s single to open the second, DuRapau struck out rookie Ty France, Wil Myers and Austin Hedges.
Steven Brault (1-1), who played at Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, replaced DuRapau and allowed two runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
“It was really cool” pitching at home, Brault said. “There was a lot of emotion. Last year I pitched here and didn’t pitch very long. This year to be able to come in, that first inning was a nightmare but this has been my year so far. To do it in San Diego was cool, with my friends and family all here was great.”
Brault allowed an RBI single by Manny Machado with one out in the third and then got out of a bases-loaded jam by getting Renfroe to hit into a double play. He also allowed an RBI single by rookie Austin Allen in the sixth. It was Allen’s first big league RBI.
“I wasn’t very sharp in the first inning and then got much better after that, and I think that’s maybe having to bear down more, like I’m coming in from the bullpen,” Brault said. “All the pitchers, the whole staff did really well tonight and it’s nice when the offense scores five runs for you early.”
Margevicius allowed six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, struck out two and walked one.
He has three losses and a no-decision in his last four starts.
“I’ve been falling behind in counts,” Margevicius said. “Definitely part of the last game and this game, falling behind has not been good for me.”
Warstic, a bat company co-owned by Padres second baseman Ian Kinsler, advertised a 20 percent off sale on Twitter and Instagram on Saturday to help raise funds to pay the fine levied against him by MLB for using profanity after hitting a three-run homer Thursday night. The promo code was FLIPOFF20, perhaps a reference to Kinsler’s bat flip after the homer. Kinsler said he used profanity to fire up his teammates, although many fans felt it was directed at him. The Twitter and Instagram posts were later deleted. According to Bleacher Report, Kinsler was fined between $7,500 and $10,000. He’s making $3.75 million this season as part of an $8 million, two-year deal. MLB declined to confirm the fine amount.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (2-4, 3.59), who also pitched at Grossmont High, is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday. He beat the Padres 1-0 at Petco Park on June 29, striking out five in seven innings.
Padres: Rookie RHP Cal Quantrill (0-1, 3.60) will rejoin the team to make his third career start. He made his most recent start on May 1 and optioned to Triple-A El Paso on May 7.
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