Taillon quiets Mariners as Pirates roll

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[June 30, 2016]  SEATTLE -- Pittsburgh outfielder Sean Rodriguez came through with an RBI single to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead in Wednesday's fourth inning, then he added an even bigger blow with a bases-loaded double in the fifth.

That was more than enough for rookie starter Jameson Taillon, who threw six solid innings to beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1 on Wednesday night.

"We didn't need many runs, the way Jameson was going today," Rodriguez said on a four-RBI night that also included two doubles and two runs scored in helping the Pirates jump out to an 8-0 lead. "He was on his game."

The Pirates rolled out to a big early lead and rode Taillon and the bullpen as the Pirates (38-41) won for the fourth time in six games.

The 24-year-old Taillon (2-1) allowed just one run off six hits over six innings in his fifth major league start, while Rodriguez provided the bulk of the offense.

The Pirates had 11 hits, led by Starling Marte's three singles and three runs scored. David Freese added his seventh home run of the season in the win.

"We got pitches to hit, we didn't try to overcook things, and we put good swings on," manager Clint Hurdle said.

Taillon made sure the Pirates didn't need much offense, even though they had it. He bounced back from a couple rough outings to earn his second major league win.

"I just got away from what I do," Taillon said of his recent struggles. "Sometimes it takes a little slap in the face, like my last outing where I didn't have my curveball, to get me back in the right direction."

Robinson Cano and Seth Smith each had a pair of hits for the Mariners (39-39).

Seattle had three errors in the game, including two on third baseman Kyle Seager, although none of them led to any Pittsburgh runs. Seager now has five errors in his past eight games, and his season total of nine errors gives him one more than he had over 157 games of his Gold Glove season in 2014.

"Not our finest performance, obviously," Seattle manager Scott Servais said after the loss.

The Pirates won despite striking out 10 times, with nine of them coming against the Seattle bullpen. Mariners pitcher Nathan Karns, making his debut out of the bullpen after starting 15 games this season, had six strikeouts in two innings.

Three Pittsburgh relievers -- A.J. Schugel, Neftali Feliz and Tony Watson -- finished off the win with three scoreless innings of relief.

Rodriguez had two doubles, scored twice and drove in four runs in leading the Pirates out to an 8-1 lead over the first five innings.

The Pirates touched up Seattle's Wade Miley, who was making his first start since June 12 after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day. Miley's night ended after four innings, having allowed five runs off seven hits. Seattle's bullpen took over in the fifth, with the Mariners trailing 5-0, and Pittsburgh added three more runs.

"Miley had a lot of mistakes up over the plate and had a hard time getting on rhythm with any of his pitches," Servais said.

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Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Safeco Field. Pittsburgh defeated Seattle, 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Freese hit the first pitch of the second inning into the seats down the right-field line, setting the tone for a three-run inning. Second baseman Josh Harrison added a two-run double as the Pirates jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

Rodriguez added an RBI double, then he scored on Jordy Mercer's RBI single as Pittsburgh rolled out to a lead of 5-0 in the fourth.

Rodriguez then broke the game open with a bases-loaded double in the fifth, bringing in three more runs as Pittsburgh pulled ahead 8-0.

Taillon gave up two first-inning singles before recording 11 consecutive outs. Seattle finally got to the rookie right-hander in the bottom of the fifth, when Seager led off with a ground-rule double and came around to score on Adam Lind's RBI single to make the score 8-1.

Seattle catcher Steve Clevenger took a foul tip off his right hand in the top of the third inning, resulting in a broken metacarpal bone that may put the season in jeopardy. Clevenger started the game but has served as Chris Iannetta's backup for most of the season.

"We'll have to make a move there," said Servais, who mentioned former starter Mike Zunino as a top candidate to get called up and fill Clevenger's spot.

NOTES: Seattle activated LHP Wade Miley from the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday's game. Reliever Nick Vincent was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained back, clearing a roster spot for Miley, who was making his first start since June 12. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jameson Taillon was making his fifth career start and his first against an American League team. It was also Taillon's first start against a team that did not make the 2015 postseason. ... The Pirates gave leadoff hitter John Jaso a night off, leaving SS Jordy Mercer to bat first for the 16th time this season. ... Wednesday marked the final game of a two-game series. The Mariners won't play another interleague game until July 26, when Seattle and the Pirates meet again in Pittsburgh for another two-game series. ... The Mariners host Baltimore for a four-game series that begins Thursday night. Pittsburgh has Thursday off, then plays a three-game series at Oakland.

[ 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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