Rangers fall to Pirates, 8-1

Through 51 career starts, Ian Snell had never pitched a complete game, and was tired of hearing about it. Wednesday night, the Pirates' right-hander made sure he never had to again.

Snell finally went the distance, allowing an unearned run and seven hits in Pittsburgh's 8-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

"He had no interest whatsoever in coming out of the game," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said.

Jose Bautista had three hits and three RBIs and Freddy Sanchez drove in two runs for Pittsburgh, which has won the first two games of the interleague series.

"I was tired of hearing people say you cant go more than seven innings, so here you go," Snell said.

The Pirates entered the series having lost nine of 12 but have beaten up on the Rangers, who have lost 15 of their last 20 at home.

Snell (6-4), who struck out seven, has allowed only three earned runs during his three starts in June. His ERA, eighth in the NL coming into the contest, dropped to 2.63.

"You can't say enough about the job our starting pitcher did tonight, as he has been doing since the start of the season," Tracy said. "He was absolutely terrific. When he's commanding three pitches like he was, the task at hand on the other side of the field is obviously very, very difficult."

Almost as difficult was the task Snell had in convincing Tracy and pitching coach Jim Colburn to let him go out for the ninth inning. The Pirates had lefty reliever John Grabow warming up during the bottom of the eighth, but he sat back down before that inning ended.

"We were having fun all night," Snell said. "I saw Grabow throwing and I was like, 'What is going on?' And I told Colby, 'Don't take me out. What is wrong with you?'

"So I thought they were taking me out, but then Tracy was like, 'Finish it.' So I finished it."

Kenny Lofton and Frank Catalanotto had two hits each for the Rangers.

The Pirates had at least two hits in each of their first five innings and took an 8-0 lead, scoring at least one run in all but the third. They put 16 runners on base through five, and every starter reached base. All but one had an RBI or scored a run.

"I think were all putting it together at the same time, and that definitely helps," Bautista said. "We're scoring runs in bunches and I think that's been translating into the two wins we've had the last two nights."

Sanchez's ground-rule double to center in the first scored Bautista, and Jason Bay followed with an RBI groundout to drive in Chris Duffy. Bautista had a two-out RBI single in the second to score Jose Castillo, and Sanchez hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate Snell in the fourth.

That was all for Rangers starter Robinson Tejeda (5-7), who gave up four runs -- three earned -- and seven hits with three walks in four innings.

"I just tried to stay in the game and I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do in the game but it wasn't working like that," Tejeda said.

The Pirates added four more in the fifth against Joaquin Benoit to put the game away. Castillo doubled to score Xavier Nady, and Bautista tripled to drive in Castillo and Paulino. Duffy followed with an infield single to plate Bautista.

"It was just one of those nights for us," Duffy said. "We put together some good at-bats and got some good outcomes."

The Rangers scored in the sixth when Brad Wilkerson's line drive caromed off third baseman Bautista's glove into short left. The play was ruled an error, and Catalanotto scored from third.

That was all Texas would get against Snell, who has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his seven outings at PNC Park and improved to 5-2 at home.

"(Snell) pitched a great game, you have to give him credit for that," said Rangers shortstop Michael Young. "We didn't play a good game at all; there's no way around that. We could've done better in every facet of the game."

Notes

Coming into this series, Pittsburgh was 0-6 lifetime against the Rangers. ... The Pirates are now 8-0 against teams from the state of Texas. ... The Pirates won back-to-back games at home for the first time since May 17-18 and have clinched winning their second series of the season at PNC Park in 10 tries. ... The Rangers have been outscored 50-20 in the first inning this season and are 10-44 when the opponent scores first.


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