Gregory Polanco hit a two-run homer and Melky Cabrera a pinch-hit two-run double Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Pirates took a three-run lead, then held on to beat the visiting Texas Rangers 5-4.
Starling Marte was 2 for 3 with an RBI single for the Pirates, who swept a two-game series at Texas last week and have won three straight and five of six overall.
Hunter Pence went 3 for 3 and drove in all four Texas runs, with a two-run homer and a two-run double. The Rangers have lost four of six.
Pittsburgh left-hander Steven Brault, making his first start of the year, went four innings, giving up two runs and two hits, with five strikeouts and three walks.
Michael Feliz (2-0) pitched a scoreless, hitless fifth. Felipe Vazquez struck out two in retiring the side in the ninth for his 10th save.
Texas starter Adrian Sampson (0-2), still looking for his first major league win after nine career starts, allowed five runs and seven hits in five innings, with two strikeouts and two walks.
Pittsburgh had runners in each of the first two innings but didn’t get a run across until the third. With two outs, Adam Frazier tripled off the wall in right. Marte followed with an RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
Pence pushed the Rangers ahead 2-1 in the fourth with his fourth homer, a 429-foot shot after Joey Gallo drew a one-out walk.
In the bottom of the fourth, Josh Bell drew a leadoff walk. Two outs later, Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch. Kevin Newman walked to load the bases for Cabrera, who drove in two with a double to right for a 3-2 Pirates lead.
Polanco increased the lead to 5-2 in the fifth with his first homer of the year, to right-center, after Marte got hit by a pitch.
In the seventh, Texas drew to within 5-4. With one out, Dovydas Neverauskas walked Delino DeShields and gave up a base hit to Elvis Andrus. Tyler Lyons replaced Neverauskas and struck out Gallo before Pence doubled off the wall in left to drive in two.
—Field Level Media