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Pirates lose 6th straight, Belt 2-run double lifts Blue Jays

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brandon Belt hit a two-run double in a four-run first inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays extended the Pittsburgh Pirates’ losing streak to a season-high six games with an 8-2 victory on Saturday night.

José Berríos (3-3) gave up two runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk as Toronto won its second straight after a five-game skid. He retired his first 13 batters before Jack Suwinski walked with one out in the fifth inning and Ke’Bryan Hayes followed with a single.

Before a crowd of 34,882, the Pirates’ largest for a May home game since 2015, Johan Oviedo (2-3) gave up seven runs — six earned — 10 hits and three walks in five innings. It was the second straight poor outing for Oviedo, tagged for seven runs over 2 1/3 innings last Sunday at Washington.

Pittsburgh has skidded since a 20-8 start, its best since 1992.

Belt was ejected in the top of the eighth inning by plate umpire Carlos Torres for arguing a called third strike.

Daulton Varsho hit a two-ahead single in first for the Blue Jays, who outhit Pittsburgh 14-5, and Alejandro Kirk capped the inning with an RBI double.

Toronto extended the lead to 7-0 in the third, when Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run single after the first run of the inning scored on second baseman Rodolfo Castro’s throwing error.

Kiermaier grounded into a run-scoring double play in the seventh.

Connor Joe singled in a run in the sixth for the Pirates and Suwinski hit a leadoff home run in the seventh.

Bryan Reynolds extended his hitting streak to 11 games.


Blue Jays: 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was a late scratch because of left wrist discomfort. It marked just the fourth time Guerrero has missed a game since the start of the 2020 season. Guerrero was scheduled to be the designated hitter, but Belt shifted from first base to DH and Biggio started at first.

Pirates: DH/OF Andrew McCutchen missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … INF/OF Ji Hwan Bae sat out after rolling his left ankle in Friday’s game.


In Sunday’s series finale, Blue Jays LHP Yusei Kikuchi (4-0, 4.02) will face RHP Roansy Contreras (3-2, 4.09) as Toronto goes for the sweep.


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John Perrotto, The Associated Press