Pirates

Bell, Polanco, McCutchen tour de force shows potential of inconsistent offense

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Josh Bell rounds third base after hitting a home run in the third inning. - AP

PHILADELPHIA — One play that Clint Hurdle said was unlike anything he's witnessed in his time around baseball could have eliminated any momentum the Pirates gained over the previous two days.

With no one out in the Philadelphia third inning, Andrés Blanco swung at the second pitch from Chad Kuhl, and Elias Diaz immediately threw the ball to first base to try to pick off Andrew Knapp. When Blanco swung, though, his bat went flying from his grasp and into the stands. And with first baseman Josh Bell's eyes on the bat, Diaz's throw went into right field and allowed Knapp to come all the way around to score.

Devastating?

Demoralizing?

No, the Pirates' offense answered by showing what it can do when its top talents click at the same time. Bell hit a two-run homer in the third and had three RBIs, Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 4 and Gregory Polanco went 4 for 4 with a home run in a 6-3 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday night.

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