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Jack Suwinski’s PNC Park Success Continues in Pirates’ 8-3 Win Over Reds

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PITTSBURGH – Just call Jack Suwinski “Mr. PNC Park.”

Suwinski added to his disparate home/road splits by doubling twice Monday night to help the Pittsburgh Pirates rally for an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series.

The rookie’s second double drove in two runs during a four-run seventh inning in which the Pirates snapped a 2-2 tie. It was the second win in the last three games for the Pirates following an eight-game losing streak.

The Pirates (57-97) still need to go 6-2 in their last eight games to avoid a second consecutive 100-loss season.

Suwinski’s double to the right-center field gap off Derek Law (2-2) snapped the tie. Kevin Newman added an RBI single and Zack Collins’ sacrifice fly made it 6-2.

Suwinski is hitting .282 in 51 home games and .098 and 47 road games.

“I really wish I could put my finger on it, but he continues to put up good at-bats at PNC Park,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “I’m glad he likes hitting here because we play 81 games a year here.”

The Pirates added two more runs in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Andujar and an RBI single by Ke’Bryan Hayes.

Rookie shortstop Oneil Cruz had a career-high four hits for the Pirates. Suwinski, Hayes and Newman added two apiece. The Pirates had a total of 13.

Andujar was the designated hitter and went 1 for 3 and also drew a walk in his Pirates’ debut. He was claimed off waivers from the New York Yankees on Sunday night.

The Pirates’ seventh-inning made a winner of Yohan Ramirez (2-1), who pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Pirates starter Roansy Contreras was pulled following a 38-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning. The rookie allowed two runs on two hits while striking out two and walking none.

“Ro is a big part of what we’re doing here now and a big part of what we’re going to do in the future,” Shelton said. “There’s no reason to send him back out there.”

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The Reds scored a run off Contreras in the first inning when Jonathan India hit a double and scored on Kyle Farmer’s sacrifice fly. TJ Friedl’s two-out solo home run in the third inning pushed the lead to 2-0.

The Reds didn’t score again until Aristides Aquino hit a solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning off Robert Stephenson.

The Pirates tied the score at 2-2 with pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning. The runs scored on throwing errors by Friedl, the left fielder, and shortstop Jose Barrero.

Earlier Monday, right-hander JT Brubaker threw a simulated game and is hopeful of returning to the rotation before the season ends Oct. 5. He has been on the injured list since Sept. 16 with right lat discomfort.

The series continues at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday with Mitch Keller (5-12, 3.99) pitching for the Pirates against rookie Hunter Greene (4-13, 4.91).

Keller is 1-3 in his last seven starts despite a fine 3.19 ERA. Greene has faced the Pirates once before, losing 1-0 on May 15 despite pitching 7.1 no-hit innings at PNC Park.

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