ShareThis Page
Pirates

Jameson Taillon shines, Pirates sock it to Zack Greinke in win

| Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 7:00 p.m.

PHOENIX — The Pirates had what looked like an out turn into a home run. They made a couple of questionable decisions, endured some nerve-wracking moments in the ninth inning.

But they're leaving Arizona with a win, which is all that really matters. Everything else can wait.

Jordy Mercer homered and had three RBIs, Jameson Taillon pitched seven effective innings and the Pirates avoided a sweep with a 5-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

“We won. Let's get on a plane and go home,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We can peel back the layers later.”

The Pirates blew a five-run lead in the opener and were knocked for 13 runs in the second game. They ended Arizona's sweep bid with a four-run second inning against Zack Greinke (5-5) and a sterling performance by Taillon (4-5).

Taillon gave up a two-run homer to David Peralta in the first inning when the ball popped out of left fielder Austin Meadows' glove and over the wall. Taillon got better as the game went along, working out of a jam in the second inning and allowing two runs on six hits to help end Arizona's five-game winning streak.

Felipe Vazquez gave up a two-run single to pinch hitter Jon Jay in the ninth before striking out Jake Lamb with the bases loaded for his 12th save.

“When you run into a team that's pesky with two strikes, they're tough to put away,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “You're going to run into some situations when you make mistakes.”

Taillon has enjoyed pitching in the afternoon, entering Wednesday's game 8-2, including 3-0 on the road before the sun goes down. He got an unfortunate break in the first inning, when Peralta's deep shot caromed out of Meadows' glove as he leaped near the wall.

Taillon struck out Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded to end the second inning and struck out four.

“It was a weird start, but I felt really good,” Taillon said. “I kind of had that mindset, like let's see if I could get my pitch count right through six.”

Greinke has been dominant at Chase Field the past two seasons, going 16-1 with 2.53 ERA at Chase Field since 2017.

Arizona's ace struggled with his command against the Pirates, walking four and striking out seven. Greinke walked two in the Pirates' four-run second inning, giving up a two-run double to Mercer and a run-scoring double to Josh Bell. Mercer hit a solo homer in the fourth to put the Pirates up 5-2.

Greinke was lifted after walking two in the fifth to load the bases with two outs. He allowed five runs on five hits.

“I felt good, but every time I put a pitch over the plate, they hit it good,” said Greinke, who had not lost at Chase Field since Aug. 9 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “As long as I'm able to make good pitches, it's fine, but I wasn't able to do that every time.”

One of the things the Pirates will look at when they get home is Meadows' miscue that led to Peralta's home run. He leaped to catch the ball just before colliding with the wall, but the ball appeared to carom out before contact was made.

“I haven't said anything to him. We'll show him the video,” Hurdle said. “There's room to go get the ball, and it kind of looked like it was the fence or he drifted on the ball, there was hesitation. He had time to get under that ball or at least get to it quicker.”

Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli returned to the lineup after missing three games while being monitored for post-concussion symptoms. He was struck on the mask by a foul ball Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.

The Pirates have a day off before right-hander Chad Kuhl faces the Cincinnati Reds on Friday at home. Kuhl is 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA in four career starts against the Reds.

The Pirates' Jordy Mercer follows through on a run-scoring double against the Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Jordy Mercer follows through on a run-scoring double against the Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed makes a leaping double play over the top of the Pirates' Gregory Polanco during the sixth inning at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images
The Diamondbacks' Nick Ahmed makes a leaping double play over the top of the Pirates' Gregory Polanco during the sixth inning at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Pirates' Josh Bell makes a play on a ground ball at first base in the third inning against the  Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images
The Pirates' Josh Bell makes a play on a ground ball at first base in the third inning against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Pirates' Jordy Mercer rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of the Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke during the fouth inning at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images
The Pirates' Jordy Mercer rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run off of the Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke during the fouth inning at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Pirates' Jordy Mercer celebrates with teammate Jameson Taillon after hitting a solo home run off of the Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke during the fouth inning at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images
The Pirates' Jordy Mercer celebrates with teammate Jameson Taillon after hitting a solo home run off of the Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke during the fouth inning at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Pirates' Francisco Cervelli (29) and Josh Bell (55) celebrate their runs scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Francisco Cervelli (29) and Josh Bell (55) celebrate their runs scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Gregory Polanco, left, scores a run as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis, right, waits for a late throw during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Gregory Polanco, left, scores a run as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis, right, waits for a late throw during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Josh Bell celebrates with teammate Josh Harrison after scoring a run during the second inning against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images
The Pirates' Josh Bell celebrates with teammate Josh Harrison after scoring a run during the second inning against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 13, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Pirates' Josh Bell connects for a run-scoring double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
The Pirates' Josh Bell connects for a run-scoring double against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
Jameson Taillon of the Pirates pitches in the first inning against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
Getty Images
Jameson Taillon of the Pirates pitches in the first inning against the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 13, 2018, in Phoenix.
Pittsburgh Pirates' Jordy Mercer, right, celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Jameson Taillon (50) during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Pittsburgh Pirates' Jordy Mercer, right, celebrates his home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Jameson Taillon (50) during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me