Hyzdu's home runs help Pirates pile it on Cards

Sunday, July 21, 2002

PITTSBURGH -- Adam Hyzdu hit a pair of three-run homers and drove in seven runs -- giving him 11 RBIs in two games -- and the Pittsburgh Pirates overpowered the St. Louis Cardinals 15-6 Saturday night.

Hyzdu, a 30-year-old outfielder who had more than 4,000 minor league at-bats in the minors before finally reaching the majors briefly in 2000, had a three-run shot in a five-run first inning against Travis Smith (3-1).

Hyzdu, who had only seven career homers before the series, added another three-run drive in the fifth off reliever Dave Veres, who has allowed two game-winning homers and eight runs in his last three appearances.

Losers of 14 of 17 to St. Louis last season, the Pirates have won five of eight from the NL Central leader this season and are 8-2 overall since the All-Star break.

So far in the three-game series, the Pirates have outscored the Cardinals 27-15 with Hyzdu going 7-for-10 with three homers, including a grand slam Friday. He had five consecutive hits over two games before popping up in the seventh, then had an RBI single in the eighth.

Hyzdu, a non-roster invitee to spring training recently called up by the Pirates, was hitting .273 with one homer and three RBIs in 10 games this season coming into the series. He now has 10 homers in 122 career at-bats, including another two-homer game against Cincinnati last season.

Rob Mackowiak, who hit a game-winning two-run homer off Veres on Friday, and Kevin Young had run-scoring singles in the first ahead of Hyzdu's drive to right field.

Pokey Reese and winning pitcher Kris Benson added RBI singles in the third, making it 7-0 before Smith was lifted.

Given the big lead, Benson (3-4) won his third straight decision since dropping four in a row to start his comeback from reconstructive elbow surgery.

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