DETROIT (AP) — Rookie Josh Bell hit his 20th homer and drove in three runs Thursday, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 7-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers.
Gerrit Cole (10-8) allowed six hits and three earned runs in a season-high eight innings. He improved to 3-1 since the All-Star break and is 6-3 in his last 10 starts.
Felipe Rivero got two outs for his 11th save. Drew VerHagen (0-2) took the loss.
Sean Rodriguez hit a solo home run and RBI single for the Pirates.
Detroit scored twice in the ninth on a double by Victor Martinez and an RBI groundout by James McCann.
Adam Frazier tripled and scored on Bell’s sacrifice fly in the first. The Tigers took the lead in the bottom half on a two-run triple by Nick Castellanos. Rodriguez tied it with a single in the second.
Bell hit a two-run homer in the third for a 4-2 lead. Mikie Mahtook had a solo homer in the bottom half.
Frazier’s two-out, two-run double in the fourth finished VerHagen.
The Tigers were still debating whether to have LHP Daniel Norris, currently on the disabled list with a groin injury, throw in a simulated game. “I don’t know if that’s been decided yet,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “I know he feels good. … RHP Michael Fulmer (right elbow), who was put on the 10-day DL on Aug. 3 after feeling tingling in his fingers, is on pace to return to the rotation next week. “He’ll toss today and probably throw a bullpen on Friday or Saturday,” Ausmus said.
Pirates: Pittsburgh continues a run of seven straight games against AL competition, traveling to Toronto to face the Blue Jays. RHP Jameson Taillon (6-5) has surrendered 19 earned runs in his last three starts.
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (3-2), touched for 10 earned runs and five home runs in his last start, starts at home against Minnesota.
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