Rookie Stallings caps Pirates’ 7-6 comeback win over Royals

Kansas City Royals

PITTSBURGH, PA – SEPTEMBER 17: Adam Frazier #26 of the Pittsburgh Pirates scores on a RBI single in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals during inter-league play at PNC Park on September 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Rookie Jacob Stallings hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.

After Jordan Luplow grounded into a double play, Kevin Kramer walked and moved to second on Kevin Newman’s single. Stallings then singled into left field off Ben Lively (0-3), scoring Kramer.

It was Stallings’ second career game-ending hit. The catcher also had one in 2016.

The Pirates scored twice with two outs in the eighth inning to tie the game at 6-all. The first run scored when first baseman Ryan O’Hearn failed to handle a throw from third baseman Hunter Dozier on a grounder by Pablo Reyes. Starling Marte followed with an RBI triple.

Newman had three of Pittsburgh’s 15 hits, and the rookie shortstop extended his hitting streak to six games as the Pirates won for the ninth time in 12 games.

Edgar Santana (3-3) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

O’Hearn’s 11th home run in 36 games since making his debut July 31 led off the top of the eighth and gave the Royals a two-run lead.

Bell drew Pittsburgh to 5-4 in the seventh with a run-scoring single.

O’Hearn’s RBI double capped a four-run fifth inning and put the Royals on top 5-3. That followed consecutive run-scoring singles by Adalberto Mondesi, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez.

Gordon doubled in the game’s first run in top of the third inning, and Corey Dickerson countered with an RBI single in the bottom half. Frazier’s two-run single in the fourth gave the Pirates a short-lived 3-1 lead.

Kansas City’s Brad Keller allowed four runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings. Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove also pitched six innings, giving up five runs and eight hits.

Keller got his first major league hit when he singled off Musgrove to lead off the fifth inning. It came in Keller’s second career at-bat after he struck out in the second.

O’Hearn’s homer to right field off Steven Brault was the first allowed by the left-hander in 117 career plate appearances against left-handed batters.

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