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Kang’s “dynamic swing” leads Pirates past Twins, 8-7
PIRATES 8 – TWINS 7
Win: Mark Melancon (2-1)
Loss: Glen Perkins (0-3)
The Pittsburgh Pirates (58-41) appeared to have the game in the bag in the top of the 8th when Gregory Polanco hit a clutch three-run double with two outs to put the Pirates up 6-3 and Neil Walker would drive Polanco in with an RBI single to give the Pirates a four-run cushion.
With Tony Watson and Mark Melancon waiting in the bullpen it would normally be lights out but the Twins rallied in the eighth with a four-run inning as Watson was pounded for 5 hits, 4 runs, recording just one hit.
In the ninth, though, Jung Ho Kang would deliver, hitting a solo home run to center that traveled 411 feet off All-Star closer Glen Perkins as the Pirates regained the lead, 8-7 lead. Mark Melancon who came in the eighth with one out after Watson faltered, picked up the win, retiring five batters on the night.
Kang had two hits, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs in the win. He has hit .441 in his last nine games and continues to evolve into one of the Pirates best hitters in his first MLB season.
“He continues to grow,” manager Clint Hurdle told reporters after the game. “Dynamic swing. One of the best closers in the game. “He expects a lot out of himself.