PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jorge Soler had two doubles among his three hits and drove in three runs to lead Kansas City over the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-6 on Wednesday night and improve the Royals’ record to a major league-best 15-8.
Soler’s doubles sparked three-run rallies in the first and sixth innings, the latter stretching the lead to 9-5. He came into the game hitting .186 with eight RBIs.
“I’m trying to do this every day, as long as I’m up to bat,” Soler said. “Today I hit a couple of balls hard the other way and they fell in. Today was a good day.”
Kansas City won for the sixth time in seven games.
Salvador Pérez also had three of Kansas City’s 12 hits. Hunter Dozier hit a two-run triple and Andrew Benintendi added a two-run double.
Dozier was hitting .129 prior to Wednesday and Benintendi’s batting average was .227.
“The top of the order has been carrying us at times and the bottom third did a nice job early on (in the season),” Kansas City manager Mike Matheny said. “It was the middle third that really came through this time. We saw it coming and Soler, Benintendi and Dozier all put together good at-bats.”
Erik Gonzalez and Jacob Stallings hit back-to-back home runs for the Pirates, who had won three in a row.
Staked to a 6-0 lead, Kansas City starter Mike Minor lasted just 4 1/3 innings and gave up five runs — four earned — six hits and three walks.
“Pretty short, not great,” Minor said of his outing. “We got the early lead, the offense did its job, the defense was making plays behind me and I couldn’t do anything for them.”
Kyle Zimmer (2-0) got the last two outs of the fifth, and Josh Staumont retired four straight batters for third save.
Mitch Keller (1-3) walked five in 2 1/3 innings, allowed four runs and needed…