Phillies snap Pirates' winning streak at 9
When a pair of rookies staged a pitchers' duel Tuesday, it was Pirates right-hander Brandon Cumpton who blinked first.
Neither Cumpton nor Philadelphia righty Jonathan Pettibone allowed a run through the first five innings. Cumpton faltered in the sixth just enough for the Phillies to pull out a 3-1 victory and end the Pirates' nine-game winning streak.
“I wanted to stop their hot streak,” Pettibone said. “All the talk on ESPN and everything has been about these guys, the first team to 50 wins. It's an extra incentive to go out there and stop that run.”
Cumpton (0-1) was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis before the game to make a spot start in place of left-hander Jeff Locke, whose outing was pushed back to Wednesday. To clear a roster spot for Cumpton, infielder Josh Harrison was sent to Indy.
In just his third start in the majors, Cumpton worked 52⁄3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits. He ran out of steam in the sixth when the Phillies did all their scoring.
“I got in a groove early on, but the third time through the lineup was definitely tougher,” Cumpton said. “I fell behind a little bit and left some pitches up. They made me pay.”
Pettibone (4-3) held the Pirates to one run on three hits in 52⁄3 innings in his second start against them this season. In 11 innings against the Pirates, he's allowed three runs — all on solo homers.
Things started to turn against the Pirates in the third inning. They were robbed of at least one run on a great defensive play by Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
With runners at first and second and two outs, Andrew McCutchen hit a bouncer up the middle. Utley dived and snagged the ball, keeping it from reaching the outfield. Starling Marte, about 45 feet from home plate, slammed on his brakes and retreated to third. Garrett Jones then went down swinging.
When the Phillies scored three times in the sixth, it ended a streak of 22 innings in which the Pirates pitchers had not allowed an earned run.
With Utley at first and one out, Jimmy Rollins looped a single to right. Ryan Howard ripped an RBI single to center, snapping an 0-for-22 slump.
Domonic Brown flew out to deep center, scoring Rollins. Howard scored on Delmon Young's double, which made the score 3-0 and ended Cumpton's night.
Jones smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, only his second RBI in 12 games since June 17.
Jordy Mercer began the seventh with a single toward the left-field corner. He tried to stretch it to a double but was thrown out by Brown, who was rated “best outfield arm” in the Phillies' farm system three years running.
“You never want to be out in that situation,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “But it was a left-handed outfielder, running away from second base, who had to make a spin throw. That's the way we play, so we'll live with it.”
Mercer's day got rougher in the eighth. The Pirates loaded the bases with two outs, but Mercer struck out on a low slider.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
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