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Trio of HRs helps Kingham win second start

Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Rookie right-hander Nick Kingham wasn't as dominant as he was in his one-hit debut, but he was good enough for long enough to notch his second victory in as many starts.

Kingham cruised through five innings before fading and Starling Marte delivered an inside-the-park home run as Pittsburgh held on for a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park, snapping the Pirates' four-game skid.

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MILWAUKEE -- Rookie right-hander Nick Kingham wasn't as dominant as he was in his one-hit debut, but he was good enough for long enough to notch his second victory in as many starts.

Kingham cruised through five innings before fading and Starling Marte delivered an inside-the-park home run as Pittsburgh held on for a 6-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park, snapping the Pirates' four-game skid.

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Marte put the Pirates up 5-1 in the fifth with his fourth home run of the year -- and first career inside-the-parker.

Video: Must C Clips: Marte hustles for an inside-the-park HR

Kingham, who allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings in his debut against St. Louis on Sunday, allowed one run on three hits through five innings before the Brewers chased him with three runs in the sixth to pull within 5-4.

"Third time through the order is the hardest time, hardest for a pitcher to get out," Kingham said. "Pitch count was getting up, pitching from the stretch. Everything had to kind of come together and just went for them in that sixth inning. I kind of just battled and battled and then they came out on top in that sixth inning and knocked me out."

Kingham gave up his first run on Manny Pina's solo homer in the second, and then allowed a two-run homer to Domingo Santana in the sixth.

Video: PIT@MIL: Santana hits a two-run shot to left field

Kingham allowed four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one. He struck out nine without a walk against the Cardinals, when he retired the first 20 hitters he faced.

"I thought he pitched well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "Sometimes you look at that line, and that's one of the times you probably say he pitched better than his line was. To walk out after 5 1/3 innings and four runs, you're going, 'Whoa.' But, he pitched pretty good."

Kingham, the Pirates' No. 12 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, said he switched up his approach from what he used against St. Louis.

"I knew they probably watched film on me last game," he said. "They knew that I liked to throw a slider. I didn't want to fall into it because they knew that was my pitch. So, I figured I would just come at them with something different. The changeup, I threw a lot more curveballs tonight, right-on-right changeups were good tonight. I threw a lot of two-seams to try to get the ball on the ground. So, I just kind of went at them with everything I had tonight."

In the fifth, Gregory Polanco opened the frame with a single up the middle, before Marte lined a 1-1 pitch from starter Junior Guerra high off the sharply angled wall in left-center. The ball caromed back well beyond center fielder Lorenzo Cain, as Marte never broke stride and scored standing up.

"Once I stepped on second base and I noticed that the ball was still far away from Lorenzo, I knew I had a shot."

Adam Frazier had Pittsburgh's last inside-the-park home run last season on Sept. 9 against St. Louis.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bucs blastsCorey Dickerson snapped a 1-1 tie in the third with his fifth homer, a two-out, two-run shot to right following a single by Josh Bell.

Video: PIT@MIL: Dickerson turns on a two-run homer

David Freese provided an insurance run in the ninth with his third homer to make it 6-4.

Video: PIT@MIL: Freese rips a solo shot to right in the 9th

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jameson Taillon (2-3, 4.83) gets the start against the Brewers on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Taillon is 0-3 in his last four starts since throwing a one-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Reds on April 8. He allowed three runs in six innings in a 3-2 loss to Washington his last time out. Taillon is 1-3 with a 3.73 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers, who will counter with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Nick Kingham