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Pirates bullpen holds off White Sox 3-2

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Pinch-hitter Josh Bell singled to break a seventh-inning tie, and the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 3-2 Wednesday.

Pittsburgh has won seven of eight and improved to 10-2 in interleague play this season.

Chicago has lost eight of nine and 13 of 15. A major league-worst 10-29, the White Sox have matched their worst start since 1948.

Pittsburgh has won eight straight over Chicago, outscoring the White Sox 45-17. The Pirates also swept a two-game series last week against them in Chicago.

With the score tied 2-2, Elias Diaz doubled off Joakim Soria (0-2) leading off the seventh and Jordy Mercer walked with one out. Bell, rested from the starting lineup in a day game after a night game, grounded a single into left.

Rookie Edgar Santana (1-0) allowed one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first major league win. Felipe Vazquez allowed Welington Castillo’s two-out single in the ninth, then got Jose Abreu to hit into a game-ending forceout. Vazquez remained perfect in eight save opportunities.

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Adam Frazier, center, celebrates with Jordy Mercer (10), and David Freese (23) after the final out of a 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox in a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 16, 2018. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

Chicago lost despite outhitting the Pirates 8-4.

Leury Garcia homered in the second and Yolmer Sanchez in the fifth.

Pittsburgh’s Sean Rodriguez hit a two-run double in the second.

Pirates starter Jameson Taillon went 5 2/3 innings and showed no ill effects from a cut right index finger that forced him from Friday’s start against San Francisco after three innings.

Hector Santiago pitched five innings for Chicago in place of Carson Fulmer, who was pushed back to Saturday against Texas to allow extra work with pitching coach Don Cooper.

ANDERSON’S DAY OFF

White Sox SS Tim Anderson was not in the lineup after starting each of the first 37 games. He pinch hit in the ninth and flied out. Sanchez, the regular third baseman, played shortstop and Matt Davidson, normally the designated hitter, started at third.

Sanchez made a sliding over-the-shoulder catch in short left field to take away a hit from David Freese in the seventh inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli (bruised right forearm) and CF Starling Marte (strained right oblique) were out of the lineup after leaving Tuesday night’s 7-0 win. Both are lday to day. ... RHP Joe Musgrove (strained right shoulder) is expected to make his last rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Indianapolis then make his Pirates’ debut Tuesday at Cincinnati. He was acquired from Houston in the offseason.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP James Shields (1-4, 5.44 ERA) starts Thursday’s opener of a four-game series against visiting Texas and LHP Cole Hamels (2-4, 3.48). Shields is winless in eight starts since beating the Royals at Kansas City on opening day.

Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl (4-2, 4.17) will be on the mound Thursday for the start of a four-game series at San Diego. LHP Eric Lauer (1-2, 8.27) starts for the Padres. Kuhl is 3-1 in his last five starts.

Story by John Perrotto of the AP

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