The Pittsburgh Pirates are hot and so is second baseman Neil Walker.
Walker’s two-run double started a seven-run second inning Friday night that lifted the Pirates to their seventh straight win, 10-3 over Milwaukee at PNC Park. It is the Pirates’ longest winning streak since reeling off 10 straight victories in 2004.
The Pine-Richland product is 7-for-16 (.438) in his last five games, a high point in what has been an up-and-down season. Walker is hitting just .231 in June after batting .284 in May and having a .253 batting average in April.
Overall, the 27-year-old Walker is hitting .254 with six home runs and 25 RBIs in 65 games.
Walker recently moved into second place on the Pirates’ all-time list for home runs by a second baseman with 44. The record is 137, held by Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski.
Walker was the Pirates’ first-round draft pick in 2004 following his senior season at Pine-Richland and received a $1.95-million signing bonus. In five major-league seasons, starting in 2009, Walker has hit .277 with 43 homers and 243 RBIs in 80 games.