Pirates Beat Royals 5-3

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PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates put the ball in play, and that was enough to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Saturday night at PNC Park.

The Royals once again got bit by the big inning, but there wasn’t anything too flashy about the Pirates’ five-run fourth inning.

Second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt hit a two-run home run in the third to put the Royals up 2-0. Kansas City then took a 3-0 lead in the fourth after an RBI single by starting pitcher Vin Mazzaro.

Mazzaro followed up his first Major League hit with a bad showing on the bump. Mazzaro (2-1, 3.60 ERA) gave up four runs on three hits in 3 innings, striking out four and walking four. He also beamed Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata.

The Pirates hit a plethora of infield singles and took advantage of defensive miscues in the fourth inning, scoring after Royals catcher Brayan Pena couldn’t handle a throw to the plate from right fielder Eric Hosmer.

The Bucs took a 4-3 lead on an RBI by second baseman Neil Walker. Billy Butler bobbled Walker’s grounder to first, eliminating any chance of a force out at home.

In the ninth, closer Joel Hanrahan (3-0, 2.63 ERA) recorded his 17th save.

The Pirates (31-27, 18-11 home) went 3-13 with runners in scoring position. The Royals (24-33, 16-13 away) went 1-12.

Pittsburgh goes for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

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