Jung Ho Kang homered and drove home three runs on Friday as the Pirates routed the Rangers 9-1 in Texas.
Kang clobbered a three-run homer that capped off a five-run uprising in the fifth inning. It was one of four home runs that the Pirates would hit in the contest, with Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco each leaving the yard as well. Kang finished the night 2-for-5 and is now hitting .308/.367/.731 with six homers and 17 RBI in his first 60 plate appearances.
Trevor Story went 2-for-4 with two RBI against the Giants on Friday.
Story doubled in the fourth to knock in a run before adding an RBI single in the eighth. The 23-year-old has hit out of the No. 2 spot all season, but his recent struggles have pushed him down to the seventh spot in back-to-back games. It’s not a sure thing to continue, but Rockies manager Walt Weiss is going with the contact-oriented DJ LeMahieu hitting second instead.
Nolan Arenado had an RBI double Friday against the Giants.
Arenado entered Friday’s action hitting just .178 (8-for-45) over his last 12 games. Hopefully getting back to Coors Field will get him rolling again. Despite the recent struggles, he’s still tied for the NL lead with 36 RBI.
Jon Niese picked up his fifth victory of the season on Friday, firing six innings of one-run ball against the Rangers in Arlington.
Niese walked one and struck out two in the stellar outing. The only blemish on his evening was a solo home run off the bat of Adrian Beltre in the sixth inning. He'll look to build on this strong outing when he brings a 4.42 ERA and 1.42 WHIP into Wednesday's start against the Marlins in Miami.
Adrian Beltre clubbed his eighth home run of the season in a losing effort against the Pirates on Friday.
Beltre also singled in the contest, finishing the night 2-for-4. His solo shot of Jonathon Niese in the sixth inning accounted for the Rangers' lone run in the ballgame. With the two-hit attack, Beltre is now hitting .269/.317/.462 with eight homers and 32 RBI on the season.
Cole Hamels was hit hard in Friday's loss to the Pirates, allowing five runs on eight hits in just 4 2/3 innings.
Hamels walked two and struck out five in the contest. He was locked into a pitcher's duel with Jonathan Niese heading into the fifth inning, before the Bucs offense erupted for five runs. Even with the rough outing, Hamels still sports a 3.34 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 67/23 K/BB ratio through 62 innings on the year. He'll look to get back on track when he takes on the Indians in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Eric Hosmer went 3-for-4 with a homer and a season-high four RBI in Friday’s 7-5 victory over the White Sox.
Hosmer drove in a run with a ground out in the first inning and slugged a solo homer in the sixth before adding a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh. The 26-year-old has picked up the power production of late and is now batting .307/.359/.520 with nine homers and 27 RBI through 47 games. He has never hit more than 19 home runs in a season before, but he’s in good position to top that this year if he can stay healthy.
Wade Davis pitched a scoreless ninth inning Friday against the White Sox for his 13th save of the season.
Davis struck out two batters in the frame and worked out a leadoff single by Brett Lawrie. The 30-year-old has already walked nine batters in 16 2/3 innings after walking 20 batters all of last season, but it hasn’t mattered much so far. He has been scored upon in his just one of his 18 appearances this season.