Twins hand Pirates first loss

Published 7:22 am Thursday, April 5, 2018

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brian Dozier homered for the third straight game, Miguel Sano drove in a pair of runs and the Minnesota Twins handed the Pittsburgh Pirates their first loss of the season with a 7-3 victory at frigid PNC Park on Wednesday night.

Dozier hit a drive off the top of the left-field wall in the third inning for his fourth home run in four days. Sano finished 3 for 5 and started Minnesota’s four-run rally in the sixth with an RBI single. He added another run-scoring single in the seventh. Eduardo Escobar also drove in two runs for the Twins.

Taylor Rogers (1-0) got two outs in the fifth to pick up the win.

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Josh Bell hit a 432-foot home run through the snow flurries in the first inning for Pittsburgh. Corey Dickerson added two hits for the Pirates, but Pittsburgh’s attempt to start 5-0 for the first time since 1983 ended when the Twins jumped on Ivan Nova (0-1) and the bullpen in the sixth.

The Pirates were the last unbeaten team in the majors thanks to solid starting pitching and enough offense to compensate for a bullpen that remains very much a work in progress.

The bullpen’s shortcomings finally became too much for Pittsburgh in the sixth when a 3-2 lead vanished. Dozier led off with a walk and moved to third when Nova and Bell, playing first base, let Eddie Rosario’s popup drop in front of them after the ball hung up in the swirling winds.

Dozier tied it on a sharp single to center. Logan Morrison followed with an RBI double to chase Nova. Dovydas Neverauskas gave up RBI doubles to Escobar and Byron Buxton that put Minnesota up 6-3.