(Pittsburgh) Whit Merrifield drove in four runs and the Toronto Blue Jays served a 10-1 correction to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Merrifield hit his first homer of the season, good for three runs, to help the Blue Jays sweep the three-game streak and extend the Pirates’ backhand streak to seven.
Merrifield gave the Blue Jays the lead with a run single in the first inning, following a 95-minute rain delay. He extended the lead to 4-0 in the third, when he pounced on a curve ball from Roansy Contreras (3-3).
The Torontonians outscored the Pirates 22-3 in that sweep, rebounding from five straight losses.
The Pirates were outshot 44-9 in their worst losing streak since an eight-game losing streak last September. They started the season with a 20-8 record, which was their best start to the campaign since 1992, when they won a division title.
Yusei Kikuchi (5-0) allowed just four hits in six and a third innings. He allowed five runs in just four and a third innings against the Boston Red Sox on May 2.
Contreras allowed five runs and nine hits in five innings on the mound. He’s given up nine runs in 10 1/3 innings in his last two starts.
Carlos Santana slammed a one-run single in the eighth inning. Jordan Romano came on as relief when the bases were all full, but he ended the Pirates’ threat by striking out Jack Suwinski and forcing Miguel Andujar out on a fly.
Daulton Varsho and Kevin Kiermaier both hit a two-run homer on a five-run ninth inning for the Blue Jays. Varsho catapulted an offering from Chase De Jong over the fence and the ball ended its swing in the Allegheny River.
Pirates outfielder Bryan Reynolds was shut out in four appearances at the plate to end his 11-game hitting streak.