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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Archer pitched seven strong innings, and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals with a 2-1 win on Wednesday night.

In his most impressive start since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31, Archer (5-8) allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. The right-hander made it out of the sixth inning for the first time in nine starts for the Pirates, who traded for him in hopes of making a playoff run.

chris archer 1036171474 Archer Shines As Pirates Defeat Royals 2 1 For 3 Game Sweep

(Photo Credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Pirates remain marooned in fourth place in the NL Central despite a five-game winning streak that’s moved them three games over .500.

Felipe Vazquez allowed one walk in the ninth but earned his 35th save one day after he let a 1-0 lead slip away – his fifth blown save of the season. The Pirates went on to win 2-1 in 11 innings on Tuesday night.

Adam Frazier broke a 1-1 tie with a homer to right-center with two outs in the fifth inning off rookie right-hander Heath Fillmyer (3-2). It was Frazier’s ninth homer of the season, and it came two days after he fouled a ball off his knee.

The injury held Frazier out of the starting lineup Tuesday, although he entered in the ninth and played the final three innings. He started Wednesday at second base.

Fillmyer allowed two runs on eight hits with five strikeouts in seven innings for Kansas City, which has lost four straight after winning five of six.

Colin Moran put the Pirates on the board first with a single to left that scored Corey Dickerson, who was 2 for 3 with two doubles, in the second inning. Adalberto Mondesi tied it with a homer to center, his 10th, in the third.

LINEUP CHANGE

Royals: OF Jorge Bonifacio was taken out of the starting lineup after going 0 for 4 with four strikeouts and one walk Tuesday. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the ninth and drew a walk.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl underwent elbow surgery on Wednesday. No further details regarding the operation were provided. Kuhl was re-examined by Dr. David Altchek in New York on Tuesday. He last pitched on June 26.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jorge Lopez (2-4, 3.93 ERA) is expected to start against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. He left Kansas City’s game against the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 14 with a left rib contusion sustained in a collision with 3B Hunter Dozier.

Pirates: RHP Ivan Nova (9-9, 4.07) takes the mound against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. In his past two starts, Nova has allowed one run on seven hits over 12 innings with 13 strikeouts and two walks.

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