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Pirates defeat Indians 9-4 for 11th consecutive win

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The Pirates stayed red-hot on Tuesday, taking down the Indians 9-4 to earn their 11th consecutive victory. Joe Musgrove got the start, limiting the Tribe to two runs over seven innings. Steven Bault and Edgar Santana each gave up a run in an inning of relief after Musgrove exited, but it didn’t prove to be an impediment.

On the offensive side of things, Starling Marte opened up the scoring in the first with a two-run homer. The Pirates tacked on five more runs in the second inning thanks to a two-run triple by Corey Dickerson, an RBI single from Marte, and a two-run homer from Gregory Polanco. Josh Bell added a two-run homer in the fifth to run the Pirates’ run total to nine.

It wasn’t all good news for the Buccos, however, as Dickerson had to exit the game before the bottom of the fourth with left hamstring discomfort. He apparently aggravated something running to first base on a ground out to start the top half of the fourth. Dickerson has been among the Pirates’ best players this season, batting .318/.351/.517 with 11 home runs, 44 RBI, and 50 runs scored in 367 plate appearances. Dickerson will undergo more testing and more should be known about his condition on Wednesday.

The Pirates have one more game against the Indians before heading home for a nine-game homestand with the Mets, Cubs, and Cardinals. They’re very much in the thick of things despite being in third place, as they currently trail the Cubs by 6.5 games, and they’re 3.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot in the National League.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.