CHICAGO (AP) — When it comes to interleague play, the Pittsburgh Pirates sail along like no other team in the National League.
Colin Moran hit a key two-run double, Jordy Mercer also drove in two runs and the Pirates beat the lowly Chicago White Sox 10-6 on Tuesday night.
Corey Dickerson had four of Pittsburgh’s 16 hits, atoning for an early fielding miscue and helping the Pirates improve to 3-5 on a nine-game trip. Starling Marte finished with three hits.
“Everybody contributed,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
Pittsburgh had dropped five of seven, but the Pirates love to plunder the American League, specifically their counterparts in the AL Central. They improved to 7-2 in interleague play this year and 65-44 over the last six seasons, tops in the NL. They have won 23 of 32 against the AL Central dating to June 15, 2015, including 14 of 18 on the road.
“Our advance scouts have done a fantastic job,” Hurdle said. “It’s a pop test for us. It’s a pop quiz, you know, more often than not. … We’ve got good scouting and then the other part of it, the way it’s worked out, we have done a good job pitching.”
Welington Castillo homered twice for the last-place White Sox, who have lost four straight and eight of nine. Yolmer Sanchez had three hits and scored twice, and Jose Abreu drove in two runs.
Sanchez’s sinking liner in the first turned into an RBI triple when Dickerson appeared to have trouble tracking the ball in left. Sanchez then scored on Abreu’s grounder, and Castillo hit a two-run homer off Ivan Nova for a 4-0 lead.
But Pittsburgh responded with four in the second — capped by run-scoring hits for Gregory Polanco and Marte against Lucas Giolito — and went ahead to stay with three in the fifth. Moran’s double to deep center made it 6-5, and Mercer followed with an RBI single off Chris Volstad (0-2).
“We tried to minimize everything with the relief and just fell short,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said.
Dickerson contributed RBI singles in the sixth and eighth as the Pirates extended their lead to 10-5.
“After the first inning, you just kind of put your head down and try to get to work,” Moran said. “Try to get on base, try to score runs any way possible. A lot of the guys were putting together really good at-bats, and that was probably the key to the success.”
Nova was pulled after just two innings, but Tyler Glasnow (1-1), Edgar Santana, Michael Feliz, George Kontos and Felipe Vasquez combined for nearly spotless relief. The one blemish was Castillo’s fourth homer off Kontos in the eighth.
Giolito allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He threw 60 strikes in 98 pitches.
“To throw that many pitches in that few innings, I mean it’s just not getting the job done as a starting pitcher,” Giolito said. “I should be going five at least.”
Pittsburgh recalled infielder Jose Osuna from Triple-A Indianapolis. He started at first base and went 1 for 5 in his second major league game of the season.
Osuna takes the roster spot of right-hander Nick Kingham, who was sent down on Monday. The Pirates are off Thursday and next Monday, eliminating the need for a fifth starter for a short time.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (right shoulder strain) pitched four innings in a rehab start with Double-A Altoona on Monday night. He allowed one run and two hits, struck out four and walked none.
White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (rotator cuff inflammation) threw live batting practice to OFs Avisail Garcia and Daniel Palka. He got up and down three times while making about 35 pitches. Depending on how he feels Wednesday, he could head out for a minor league rehab stint. … Garcia, who is on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, is doing “very, very well,” according to Renteria. “He feels good. No discomfort,” Renteria said. “Just have to build him back up and get him back out there.” … 2B Yoan Moncada (left hamstring tightness) is doing strengthening exercises. “The hope is that he’ll be ready to go toward next week sometime,” Renteria said.
Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams and White Sox right-hander Reynaldo Lopez get the ball for the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Williams (4-2, 2.63 ERA) allowed a season-high three runs in 5 2/3 innings in a 3-1 loss at Washington in his previous start. Lopez (0-2, 2.43 ERA) is coming off three straight no-decisions, allowing seven earned runs in 18 innings.