Pirates beat Arizona but Rodriguez suffers injury
PHOENIX — It's been the kind of season so far for the Pirates when even a slump-busting victory comes with a dark cloud.
Monday, the Pirates snapped a four-game losing skid by edging the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-3. However, starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez was forced to leave with a tight left hamstring, and his status is uncertain.
Rodriguez pitched 21⁄3 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits. The left-hander will be re-evaluated by the medical staff Tuesday.
The rotation for this weekend's series against the Cincinnati Reds hasn't yet been set, but Rodriguez probably would be in line to pitch Saturday. If he cannot go, righty Jeanmar Gomez could make a spot start.
How valuable is Rodriguez to the Pirates? Since Aug. 29, 2012, he's won five games. In that same span, the other four starters in the rotation — A.J. Burnett, James McDonald, Jonathan Sanchez and Jeff Locke — have combined for two victories in the majors.
Rodriguez appeared to be injured while releasing a pitch to Gerardo Parra. Rodriguez clutched his left hamstring and dropped into a crouch to stretch. When the muscle didn't loosen after a couple of minutes, Rodriguez left the game.
At the time, the Pirates had a 3-1 lead. Gomez took over with Parra, who reached on an error, at first base. Martin Prado singled, and Aaron Hill walked. Paul Goldschmidt hit a fly to deep left, which Starling Marte caught at the wall. Parra scored.
Alfredo Marte looped a single — his first hit in the majors — into center field, scoring Prado to tie it at 3.
The Pirates regained the lead in the fifth. Marte tripled and scored on Andrew McCutchen's sacrifice fly.
Marte and McCutchen are becoming a reliable first-inning combination, too. Sunday, Marte singled, and McCutchen homered. Monday, both players figured in a three-run opening inning.
Marte lined the second pitch up the middle for a single — his third straight game with a leadoff hit. Overall, he's gotten on base in the first inning of four of seven games.
With one out, McCutchen ripped a double down the left-field line. Marte, perhaps unsure if the ball was fair, didn't seem to be running full speed as he rounded second base. But Marte still had plenty of giddyup to score standing up.
Travis Snider later made it 3-0 with a bases-loaded, two-out single to center off right-hander Trevor Cahill (0-2).
Garrett Jones hit a solo homer in the eighth. Three of the Pirates' five hits in the game were for extra bases.
Gomez (1-0) was credited with the victory. Lefty reliever Justin Wilson threw three scoreless innings.
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