Bryan Reynolds led off the 11th inning with his first career homer and Starling Marte then added a two-run shot as the Pittsburgh Pirates ended their eight-game losing streak with a 6-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
The Pirates were scoreless until getting three runs in the ninth off closer Jose Leclerc.
Reynolds led off the 11th with a blast off Jesse Chavez (0-1) that landed on the hill in center field. Reynolds has hit safely in all eight of his games since the outfielder’s big league debut April 20.
Marte was playing his first game since April 19, when he was involved in a full-speed collision with shortstop Erik Gonzalez that sent both players to the injured list. Reynolds was called up the next day when Marte was sidelined with bruises to his abdominal wall and ribs. Gonzalez broke his collarbone.
Kyle Crick (1-1), who was born in nearby Fort Worth and lives in Sherman about 90 miles north, pitched a perfect 10th. Felipe Vazquez worked the 11th for his seventh save after allowing Joey Gallo’s leadoff homer — his 10th.
Pittsburgh had three consecutive hits off Leclerc to start to the ninth, including a leadoff double by Reynolds and Adam Frazier’s RBI single for their first run. Leclerc then struck out two before Josh Bell, who was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and grew up a Rangers fan, tied the game at 3 with a two-run double driven the opposite way into the left-center gap.
It was the second blown save in seven chances this season for Leclerc, who became the Rangers’ closer after Keone Kela was traded to Pittsburgh last July. Kela pitched a scoreless ninth for the Pirates.
Asdrúbal Cabrera blooped a two-run single to right in the fourth — MLB stats registered the exit velocity off the bat at 59 mph — to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. They went ahead 3-0 in the eighth on Gallo’s third walk, which came after a passed ball on a strikeout and two other walks had loaded the bases.
Rangers starter Adrian Sampson was denied his first big league victory after 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The right-hander struck out five without a walk, and hit a batter, in his 13th career appearance (eighth start) since his big league debut for Seattle in 2016. He was a fifth-round pick by the Pirates in the 2012 amateur draft and was in their organization until traded to the Mariners in July 2015.
Pirates starter Jordan Lyles struck out five but had a season-high four walks in four inning. The righty has a 7.80 ERA in 10 career appearances against the Rangers, who he had last faced in 2016 with Colorado.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli was hit on his left wrist by a pitch in the second inning. He initially remained in the game, but two pitches later left the game with what the Pirates termed “left wrist discomfort.”
Rangers: 3B Cabrera had missed the previous three games with tightness in his left calf.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (1-3, 4.06) is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in his three road starts this year. He gave up five runs over five innings against Arizona last Thursday at home.
Rangers RHP Shelby Miller (1-1, 7.52) has allowed exactly four runs in each of his last four starts. He is 2-7 with a 4.88 ERA in 10 career starts against Pittsburgh.