Pirates 9, Indians 5
Pedro Alvarez had one of his best games yet. Still, it was a win by the Pittsburgh Pirates that had him really excited.
Alvarez drove in a career-high six runs with his second two-homer game in two days, powering Pittsburgh past the Cleveland Indians 9-5 Sunday.
''I'm just glad to help us win the series,'' Alvarez said as music blared in the clubhouse following the Pirates' second victory in three games, giving them a sixth series win in their last seven matchups.
Alvarez seemed unfazed by his own accomplishment - hitting three-run homers in the fourth and fifth innings for his fourth career multihomer game. He also doubled, for his first game of three extra-base hits.
His previous two multihomer games also came in consecutive games, July 20-21 against Milwaukee.
''It's just coincidence,'' Alvarez said of homering twice in consecutive games once again.
Manager Clint Hurdle said Alvarez has worked hard to lift his average to .207 with a team-high 12 homers and 34 RBIs, three behind team leader Andrew McCutchen. Alvarez has 10 RBIs in four games after going 10 games without any.
''He's worked hard to get to a better place,'' Hurdle said. ''He drove one ball to right, then took advantage of a mistake and hit another. He had a very good day at the plate.''
Tony Watson (4-0), the second of five Pirates pitchers, worked 1 2-3 innings of relief for the win.
Jeanmar Gomez (4-6) allowed eight runs - four earned - over 4 1-3 innings for Cleveland, which lost for the fifth time in six games. Eight runs came directly after three errors by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
''It was a bad day for me,'' Cabrera said. ''We lost the game right there on the errors I made.''
Pittsburgh scored nine runs for the second straight game after totaling 13 runs during a four-game losing streak.
Alvarez became the first Pirates player with six RBIs in a game since Andy LaRoche did it Sept. 28, 2009, against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cleveland's Jason Kipnis had three hits and scored twice. He put the Indians ahead with two outs in the first inning by hitting his team-leading 11th homer, off Pirates starter Brad Lincoln. Casey Kotchman's run-scoring single made it 2-0 in the second.
Alvarez put the Pirates up 3-2 in the fourth. His line drive into the right field seats came after Cabrera fielded a two-out grounder by Casey McGehee, but threw it away.
Shin-Soo Choo sent Cleveland back in front with a two-run double in the bottom half. Hurdle thought left fielder Alex Presley should have caught line drive hit just over his head.
''We gave them a gift run,'' Hurdle said. ''It should have been a sacrifice fly. That ball needs to be caught.''
Presley came back in the fifth with his fifth homer, and second in two days to tie it at 4.
Later in the inning, Cabrera made two errors on a potential inning-ending double play grounder by McGehee with the bases loaded. Cabrera ranged near second base and lifted his glove too soon on the play. The ball trickled away as one run scored. Cabrera then tried to scoop it to Kipnis at second for a forceout, but rolled it past him instead, as another Pirate crossed the plate.
''That was a perfect groundball for a double play,'' Cabrera said. ''I missed the ball so I tried to get it to Kipnis.''
Esmil Rogers then replaced Gomez and Alvarez hit a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right for his 12th homer and 9-4 lead.
''That made me feel bad, too, but there's nothing I can do,'' Cabrera said. ''It (the errors) already happened. You have to finish the game.''
Cabrera had only three errors in his first 55 games and had not made a miscue in 33 games since May 7.
''You are not going to see that team make three errors in a game often,'' Hurdle said. ''We made them pay. We were able to add on and that's usually a difference maker.''
With one out in the ninth, Cabrera lined a ball off the wall in right, but wasn't running full speed around first base. He tried to hustle to second for a double, but was thrown out by right fielder Garrett Jones.
Cabrera said he thought the ball was going to be caught.
Michael Brantley, whose 22-game hitting streak was snapped Saturday, doubled home Kipnis in the seventh.
NOTES: Pittsburgh won a series for only the second time in their last 21 road interleague matchups. ... Pirates RHP Daniel McCutchen (strained oblique) had his rehab assignment moved to Triple-A Indianapolis from Class A Bradenton. ... Indians RHP Derek Lowe is scheduled to start Monday against Cincinnati - his first outing since being brushed back by a pitch from Reds RHP Mat Latos. Reds manager Dusty Baker admitted he ordered the pitch. He and Lowe have feuded for a few years. ... Kipnis has a streak of 15 consecutive stolen base attempts. He is 17 for 18 overall. ... The last Cleveland player with three errors in a game was 3B Andy Marte, June 10, 2010. ... Cleveland released RHP Hector Ambriz from Triple-A Columbus to clear room for LHP Scott Barnes, optioned out on Friday.