PITTSBURGH (AP) — Christian Arroyo had three hits and three RBIs, Alex Verdugo reached base five times and Rich Hill, 42, won for the first time in nearly two months as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-3 on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox won for the fifth time in six games and came back to .500 at 59-59. Boston four games behind Toronto in the race for the third and final wildcard AL spot.
Arroyo had a two-run brace and scored on Kike Hernandez’s sacrificial volley in the second inning as Boston took a 3-2 lead. Arroyo also scored a single on a run in a three-run ninth that opened up the player.
Over the past two weeks, Arroyo has become the regular second baseman for the Red Sox. The utility infielder has started the last 10 games at that position.
Verdugo was 3 for 3 with two walks.
Hill (5-5) allowed two runs on three hits in five innings for his first win since June 26. He struck out four on strikes and didn’t walk one. The southpaw was making his third start since missing a month with a sprained left knee.
The last time Hill pitched at PNC Park was a 10th-inning hit for the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 23, 2017, before Josh Harrison hit a game-ending home run.
Hill didn’t flirt with immortality this time around. Kevin Newman started the first inning with a single and Bryan Reynolds followed with a two-run homer into the bullpen at center field. The Pirates didn’t score again until the ninth inning as their losing streak reached six games. Reynolds had two hits.
Quickly down 2-0, Hill bounced back to strike out the next 12 batters before Rodolfo Castro hit a lead single in the fifth inning. The Red Sox took a 3-2 lead an inning later.
The Red Sox went 4-2 on Verdugo’s RBI double in the fifth.
Rookie Roansy Contreras (3-3) was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game and allowed four runs on six hits in six innings with four walks and three strikeouts. He had been sent to the minor leagues on July 7 to limit his innings pitched.
Boston opened the game in the final two innings. Pinched hitter Rob Refsnyder walked Eric Stout in the eighth, then Kevin Plawecki hit a two-run brace in the ninth to increase the lead to 8-2.
Ben Gamel hit an RBI single for the Pirates in the bottom of the ninth.
Red Sox: LHP James Paxton is set to make his first start in rehab on Thursday in the Florida Gulf Coast League. After undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery from Tommy John last year, Paxton signed with Boston as a free agent in December. … LHP Matt Strahm (bruised left wrist) is expected to rejoin the squad on Thursday and could be activated from the injured list then… SS Xander Bogaerts (bruise on right shin) returned to the roster after sitting out on Tuesday .
Pirates: C Tyler Heineman (right groin strain) was activated from the 10-day DL, C Jose Godoy was opted for Indianapolis and RHP Austin Brice was designated for assignment. … RHP Mitch Keller played catch a day after being pulled from his start after two innings with shoulder fatigue. … RHP David Bednar (lower back inflammation) may be able to start playing wrestling by the weekend. … Although out for the season after hamstring surgery, C Roberto Perez has been cleared to participate in baseball activities and hopes to play winter ball.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.45) will start Thursday night as Boston looks to sweep the three-game series. He’s 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA in six starts since missing five weeks with lower back inflammation.
Pirates: RHP JT Brubaker (2-10, 4.45) is winless in six starts since early July, going 0-3 with a 4.88 ERA.
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