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Pirates hold off Rays’ rally attempt

Starting pitcher Jared Jones recovered after a shaky first inning to deliver a quality outing and help the Pittsburgh Pirates even their series with a 4-3 win against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.

Jones (5-6), who gave up one walk and hit two batters in the first, went seven innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out eight and walking three. Aroldis Chapman earned his second save despite allowing a run in the ninth.

Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 19 games.

Rays starter Zach Eflin (3-5) surrendered four runs on five hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one.

Pittsburgh broke a 1-1 tie in the third. Andrew McCutchen tripled with one out and scored when Reynolds lined a single into left field. After Oneil Cruz drew a walk, Rowdy Tellez singled to right field to score Reynolds and make it 3-1. The Pirates went up 4-1 on Nick Gonzales’s fielder’s choice later in the inning.

Tampa Bay got one back in the fourth. Richie Palacios singled, stole second and eventually scored when Ben Rortvedt hit a single to left field, which Reynolds lost in the sun, to narrow it to 4-2.

Yandy Diaz pulled the Rays within one in the ninth, driving in Jose Caballero with a two-out double.

Jones struggled in the first and the Rays capitalized. Brandon Lowe was hit by a pitch and Randy Arozarena drew a walk, giving them two on with one out. A wild pitch moved them to second and third for Josh Lowe, who drove in Brandon Lowe with a groundout to put Tampa up 1-0.

The Pirates responded right away.

With two outs in the first, Cruz clobbered a first-pitch curveball, sending it 445 feet to right field to tie it 1-1.

Rays’ utility man Amed Rosario left the game in the first inning after he was hit in the head by a fastball. He sustained facial lacerations, per the Bally Sun Sports broadcast.

Palacios, who entered the game for Rosario, went 2-for-3.

–Field Level Media

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