Pirates storm back with late rally to defeat Diamondbacks, 9-4
PHOENIX — It had been more than two years since Pedro Alvarez had gotten a pinch hit.
Granted, the Pirates slugger hasn't been asked to do it much in his career. Going into Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Alvarez had just 21 at-bats off the bench.
On Friday, with the Pirates trailing by two runs in the eighth inning, Alvarez got another opportunity and delivered a game-tying, two-run double.
Alvarez's clutch hit set the stage for five-run rally in the ninth inning as the Pirates pulled away for a 9-4 victory over the Diamondbacks.
The Pirates overcame a sluggish start — they had one hit through five innings — and a four-run deficit.
The Pirates finally broke through against left-hander Vidal Nuno in the sixth. Jordy Mercer doubled and scored on Gaby Sanchez's two-out single.
In the eighth, they tied it by getting three runs off reliever Randall Delgado.
Josh Harrison tripled to right-center. Mercer walked. Andrew McCutchen blasted an RBI double off the center field wall.
Lefty reliever Eury De La Rosa came in to face Alvarez, who stroked a two-run double into the gap in right-center.
It was Alvarez's first pinch hit since July 3, 2012.
The ninth-inning scoring splurge began with back-to-back doubles by Harrison and Mercer off Bo Schultz (0-1). McCutchen was intentionally walked. Michael Martinez and Russell Martin each had an RBI single.
Martin has 11 hits in his past 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Travis Snider, who popped out with the bases loaded in the eighth, added a two-run single.
Nuno retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced, picking up three strikeouts and three ground-ball outs.
After spending two seasons in the Cleveland Indians' minor league system, Nuno was released in 2010.
A New York Yankees scout rediscovered him in June 2011 while Nuno was pitching for the Washington Wild Things.
He was traded to Arizona on July 6 for Brandon McCarthy.
Pirates starter Edinson Volquez pitched 52⁄3 innings and gave up four runs and seven hits. He walked two and struck out five.
After four scoreless innings, the game turned in the fifth. Didi Gregorius led off with a hard liner that scooted under shortstop Mercer's glove. It was scored a single.
With one out and Nuno at the plate, Gregorius went to third base on what originally was ruled a wild pitch. The Diamondbacks challenged the call, and the replay review determined Nuno was hit by the pitch.
Instead of having a runner on third with the pitcher at the plate, the Diamondbacks had two on for Ender Inciarte. It might have seemed a debatable decision by Arizona manager Kirk Gibson until Inciarte jacked a three-run homer to right field.
David Peralta walked, stole second and went to third when catcher Martin's throw sailed into center field.
Martin was visibly upset by the error and smacked his mask off one of his shin guards.
Martin no doubt felt even worse when Peralta scored on a wild pitch.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Ferrante defense’s opening statement points to wife’s symptoms
- Student arrested at Shaler High School in roundup of 35 Allegheny County drug dealers
- Starkey: Century mark beckons for Ben
- Zappala impersonator rips off Butler County business, state police say
- Steelers’ defense on pace for fewest sacks in 16-game season
- Tom Wolf to visit Leechburg on Saturday
- Ex-judge in Philadelphia charged with bribery, conspiracy in sting case
- Shaler’s Schwartz earns WPIAL cross country 3-peat
- Parkway West off-ramps at Carnegie to close beginning Friday night
- New movie studio coming to McKees Rocks
- Woman taken into custody for fatal stabbing of male companion in Duquesne