September 19, 2018 / 3:06 AM / a year ago

Lavarnway's first walk-off hit lifts Pirates past Royals

Journeyman Ryan Lavarnway, in his second major league at-bat this year, hit an RBI single in the 11th inning Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 2-1 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals.

It was the second night in a row the Pirates won in their final at-bat.

Kansas City tied it 1-1 in the top of the ninth on Hunter Dozier’s RBI double.

In the bottom of the 11th, Starling Marte led off with an infield single off the glove of reliever Burch Smith (1-6). Josh Bell walked, and both runners advanced on a passed ball before Francisco Cervelli struck out.

Adam Frazier was intentionally walked to load the bases for Lavarnway, and the pinch hitter smacked the ball into center for his first career walk-off hit.

Kyle Crick (3-2) pitched a 1-2-3 top of the 11th.

Colin Moran had a pinch-hit homer and right-hander Jameson Taillon struck out a career-high 11 for Pittsburgh (76-74), which won its fourth straight.

Kansas City (52-99) has lost three straight and could reach 100 losses in the series finale Wednesday.

Neither starter gave up a run. Neither got a decision, either.

Taillon held the Royals to four hits and a walk in seven innings. It was his 20th consecutive start allowing three earned runs or fewer.

Kansas City left-hander Eric Skoglund was making his second start after a long stint on the disabled list caused by a left UCL sprain. He gave up three hits in six innings, with two strikeouts and no walks.

In the seventh, Moran corked a ball into the stands in right-center with two outs to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead.

The Royals tied it in the ninth against closer Felipe Vazquez, whose blown save ended his streak of 24 converted opportunities in a row. Jorge Bonifacio walked with one out. Pinch hitter Salvador Perez singled, and an out later, Dozier hit an RBI double to left, with Perez thrown out at the plate to keep it 1-1.

The Pirates left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

—Field Level Media

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