Ivan Nova pitched six scoreless innings, and Josh Bell homered for the second straight day Saturday to help the Pittsburgh Pirates win their fifth straight game, a 5-1 victory against the visiting Miami Marlins.
Nova (8-9) had not pitched since Aug. 28 as he was granted a leave to attend to a personal matter in his native Dominican Republic. He showed no rust, allowing three hits, walking one and tying a season high with nine strikeouts.
The Pirates reached .500 at 71-71.
Miami has lost eight of 11.
Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen (6-10) gave up three runs and five hits in four innings, with six strikeouts and two walks.
Nova had lost three straight starts, plagued by a lack of run support. That wasn’t a problem Saturday.
In the second, Jose Osuna led off with a double off the wall in right for Pittsburgh. After Pablo Reyes drew a four-pitch walk, Kevin Newman got his first major league RBI on a base hit to center for a 1-0 lead.
The Pirates added two more in the fourth. Bell walked and went to second on Osuna’s single to right. Two outs later, Jacob Stallings singled to center, driving in Bell. Center fielder Lewis Brinson let the ball get under his glove for an error, allowing Osuna to also score and make it 3-0.
Bell led off the sixth with his 10th homer, to center, to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead.
With two outs in the seventh, Adam Frazier singled. Starling Marte drove him home with a double for a 5-0 edge and moved to third on Brinson’s second error of the game.
Miami spoiled the shutout in the eighth against Pittsburgh reliever Nick Kingham. Miguel Rojas walked with one out and moved to third on Starlin Castro’s double. Brian Anderson walked to load the bases, and Rojas scored on a Kingham wild pitch, making it 5-1.
The game was played in constant precipitation that ranged from mist to light rain.
–Field Level Media