May 8 (UPI) -- Pirates third baseman Josh Bell joined an exclusive club during Wednesday afternoon's home game against the Texas Rangers by belting a home run into the Allegheny River.
Facing Rangers pitcher Shelby Miller in the bottom of the fourth inning, Bell hit a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for his ninth home run of the year. Bell's blast was measured at 472 feet and reached the Allegheny on the fly.
NBC Sports said Bell joined Houston's Daryle Ward and Pittsburgh's Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez as the only players to hit home runs into the river on the fly. Other players have hit home runs which have bounced into the river.
The Pirates tweeted that Bell's home run was the fifth-longest in PNC Park's 18-year history. Former Cubs All-Star Sammy Sosa hit a 484-foot homer in 2002.
Bell, 26, entered Wednesday's game with a .288 average and 25 RBI.
Bell's homer wasn't the only milestone in Wednesday's game. Rangers center fielder Joey Gallo became the fastest player in American League history to reach 100 career home runs with a two-run homer in the third inning.
Gallo reached the 100-home run mark in 377 games. Mark McGwire reached 100 home runs in 393 games.
Pittsburgh entered play with a 17-15 record, only 2.5 games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.