Pirates blanked

Pillar homers twice, Sandoval pitches Angels to 9-0 win

AP photo Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Quinn Priester, second from left, walks off the mound after handing the ball to manager Derek Shelton, left, during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

PITTSBURGH — Kevin Pillar homered twice and drove in six runs, helping Patrick Sandoval and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-0 on Tuesday night.

Logan O’Hoppe had four hits and two RBIs for Los Angeles, which had dropped three in a row and five of six overall. Willie Calhoun walked twice and scored three times.

Sandoval (2-5) struck out seven in seven innings in his first win since April 3 against Miami. The left-hander allowed three hits and walked one.

“Tonight belonged to Sandoval, he was outstanding,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “That’s the eighth straight game that our starters have given us six (innings) and that’s what we’re trying to do with these guys.”

The seven innings were a season high for Sandoval.

“I’ve just got to know myself better and pitch like I did tonight and be the better version of myself,” Sandoval said. “I’m capable of doing this.”

The Angels went ahead to stay when Pillar connected for a three-run drive against Quinn Priester in the fourth. Mickey Moniak singled and Calhoun walked before Pillar reached the left-field bleachers for his second homer of the season.

“We put it all together,” Washington said. “It started with the guy on the mound, and it started with the big hit that Pillar gave us, something we’ve been looking for. He gave it to us and then it became contagious from there.”

Pillar led off the seventh with a drive to left off Roansy Contreras. It was Pillar’s seventh career multihomer game and his first since 2021 with the New York Mets. He doubled in a run in the eighth off Josh Fleming.

The veteran outfielder signed with Los Angeles on April 30 after Angels star Mike Trout was placed on the 10-day injured list with a knee injury. The 35-year-old Pillar had played in just three games with the Angels before Tuesday and was 1 for 6.

The Angels are Pillar’s ninth team since 2019.

“It’s moments like that that you keep grinding in the cage, you keep working,” Pillar said. “It’s been a lot of work going into that. My father taught me at a young age that you work and just keep your head down and keep working. And it is validation that I can still contribute.”

Nolan Schanuel and Moniak each had two hits for Los Angeles, which scored a total of three runs in its previous three games.

Priester (0-3) was charged with five runs — three earned — and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Pirates have yet to score during Priester’s four starts and 21 innings this year.

“I think the slider lost a little bit of its shape. And then he threw a couple of sinkers that really didn’t sink that he left in the middle plate and ended up getting hit really hard,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said.

Pittsburgh had won three in a row.

The start of the game was delayed 20 minutes because of the threat of rain.


Pirates: SS Oneil Cruz got the night off with Pittsburgh facing a left-handed starting pitcher.


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