KANSAS CITY— Travis Ishikawa, claimed by the Pirates off waivers two weeks ago, slammed two doubles and a home run, and drove in four runs as the Pirates held off late Royals comeback attempts for a 10-7 win on Monday night in front of 38,169 fans at Kauffman Stadium.
Buccos closer Mark Melancon worked around a ninth-inning leadoff walk to record his Majors’ leading 30th save of the season and the 100th of his career. It also was Melancon’s 28th consecutive conversion.
After the Royals pulled within 8-7 in the seventh, Neil Walker ripped a two-run triple to right in the eighth to keep the Pirates safely in front. A.J. Burnett wobbled through six innings to get the win -- he gave up 11 hits and six runs. That was the most runs Burnett has allowed in a game this season.
“We battled back,” Royals manager Ned yost said. “We just couldn’t get the lead. We came close a couple of times.”
Yordano Ventura made his second start since returning from the disabled list for the Royals, and struggled. He gave up 10 hits and six earned runs in four-plus innings, though he did strike out seven and also got out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third inning. Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales homered for the Royals.
“Our game plan was to get Ventura to throw strikes,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. “Guys were looking for one pitch in one spot, and put good swings on them. This guy can be electric; that wasn’t going on tonight.”
Added Ventura, “Obviously I am not feeling too good about what is going on. I know this club needs me to do what we need to do. I need to keep working to get back to where I need to be.”