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Buccos thump Yankees

PITTSBURGH — Rookie outfielder Jack Suwinski hit his 14th home run, Daniel Vogelbach added his 11th and the Pittsburgh Pirates spoiled Jameson Taillon’s return to PNC Park with a 5-2 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.

Taillon (9-2), a high draft pick by the Pirates who spent more than a decade in the organization before being traded to New York in January 2021, lost for the first time since April 11. He gave up a solo shot to Vogelbach in the first inning and a two-run homer just over the center-field wall by Suwinski in the fourth. Taillon was pulled with one out in the sixth after allowing five runs and six hits with five strikeouts.

Jose Quintana (2-4) held New York in check for five innings and Pittsburgh’s bullpen did the rest. David Bednar worked the ninth for his 13th save as the Pirates sent the Yankees to consecutive losses for just the fifth time this season.

Pittsburgh leaned into a rare visit by the Yankees, whose first appearance at PNC Park since 2017 produced the first sellout of the season at a ballpark that is typically more than half-empty most nights.

Pirates Hall of Fame second baseman Bill Mazeroski, who hit the clinching home run in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series against the Yankees at Forbes Field, threw out the first pitch. Former Pittsburgh star turned Yankees ace Gerrit Cole met with the media for more than 20 minutes before signing autographs in his first appearance at the park since Pittsburgh traded him to Houston in January 2018.

New York reached the season’s midway point at 58-23, the best record in the majors by a significant margin and well ahead of the club’s pace last year, when the Yankees slogged to a 41-40 mark through the first 81 games.

New York rallied to make the playoffs a year ago. That likely won’t be required this time around, not with the Yankees entering the day leading the AL East by a staggering 13 games.

Still, New York’s blistering pace has cooled a bit of late with the All-Star break approaching. The Yankees are 2-3 halfway through their four-city road trip that wraps up in Boston this weekend.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa had three hits for New York. Gleyber Torres and Matt Carpenter added two apiece. Aaron Judge went 1 for 5, grounding into an inning-ending double-play with two runners on in the seventh and striking out looking with a runner on to end the game, symbolic of a night when the Yankees left nine men on.

Cole was in line to get a start at PNC Park before a rainout in Cleveland last Friday shuffled New York’s rotation. Taillon made his scheduled start, with the Pirates offering the second overall pick in the 2010 draft a short video tribute before playing Taillon’s traditional warmup song — “When The Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin — as he took the mound.

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