Diamondbacks complete sweep of Pirates
The Pirates' clubhouse emptied quickly late Thursday night after a ragged, 11-6 loss in 12 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Starting pitcher Kevin Hart, who got a no-decision in his Pirates debut, slipped out a side door. Reliever Steven Jackson (2-2), who was demoted to Triple-A minutes after yielding five runs in the final inning, refused to speak with reporters.
Right-hander Jose Asconio, who was acquired along with Hart on July 30 via a trade with the Chicago Cubs, will be called up today to take Jackson's spot. Asconio started one game for Indy and took a loss by allowing two runs on six hits in 6.2 innings.
Most of the other players showered, dressed and bolted without saying much. But their sullen mood said enough.
"Kind of a roller-coaster evening for us," manager John Russell said. "We had a chance to put them away and we didn't."
Andrew McCutchen and Lastings Milledge began the 11th with back-to-back singles. But Garrett Jones and Delwyn Young struck out, and Ryan Doumit flew out.
After Young fanned to end the inning, McCutchen slammed his batting helmet on the infield turf.
"I thought we had it," Russell said, glumly. "You're not going to get that (chance) too often."
The Diamondbacks won it by scoring five runs (four earned) on four hits off Jackson in the 12th.
Alex Romero blasted a two-run double. Pitcher Dan Haren pinch-hit for reliever Jon Rauch (2-0) and hit a sacrifice fly to center. Miguel Montero hit an RBI single.
The Pirates blew a pair of one-run leads, fell behind 3-2, then surged ahead with a four-run sixth inning.
But Jeff Karstens gave up two runs, and Jesse Chavez allowed Trent Oeltjen's solo homer in the eighth to tie the game at 6-6.
"It was kind of a tale of two games," Russell said. "Our offense (picked us) up, but our bullpen let us down. (Closer) Matt (Capps) picked us up, but then our offense let us back down again."
It's no surprise the crowd of 17,311 had to sweat out the finish, even after the Pirates built a three-run lead. Over the first seven games of this homestand, the Pirates have been outscored 24-4 from the seventh innning on.
"We're going to have to start getting some people out," Russell said. "We've got to do a better job late in the game."
Hart, who arrived a week ago via a trade with the Chicago Cubs, got a no-decision in his Pirates debut. The right-hander tossed six innings and allowed three runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Back-to-back walks to Milledge and Jones put Arizona starter Max Scherzer in a jam in the first inning. With two outs, Young stroked an RBI single to snap an 0-for-11 skid.
Hart got the first two outs easily in the third, then ran into trouble.
Alex Romero singled to left. Gerardo Parra singled to center. Mark Reynolds doubled to left, tying the game.
Parra also tried to score — he beat the throw, but slid past the plate. Doumit, who did a good job blocking the plate with his left leg, took two steps and tagged out Parra.
The Pirates quickly regained the lead. McCutchen walked leading off the third and scored on Milledge's double off the left field wall.
In the fourth, the Pirates missed a chance to pad their lead. With runners at the corners, Hart struck out and Andy LaRoche was caught in an inning-ending rundown.
Arizona tied it 2-2 in the fifth. Augie Ojeda led off with a single and scored on Romero's two-out hit to right.
Reynolds began the sixth with his 33rd homer of the season, a blast into the Pirates' bullpen which sent relievers scurrying for cover.
The Pirates scored four runs in the sixth. Young singled to right field. Brandon Moss walked. A wild pitch advanced both runners.
With one out, Ronny Cedeno slapped a two-run single up the middle. That put the Pirates up, 4-3.
Steve Pearce drove a pinch-hit double to center, scoring Cedeno. Pearce went to third on the throw to the plate, then scored when catcher Miguel Montero threw wildly to third base.
Karstens took over for Hart in the seventh and allowed two runs. Stephen Drew homered to right. Parra singled and eventually came home on a ground out.
How they scored
Pirates first inning (Max Scherzer pitching) — With one out, Lastings Milledge walked. Garrett Jones walked, Milledge to second. With two outs, Milledge stole third. Delwyn Young singled to left field, Milledge scored. Pirates 1, Diamondbacks 0
Diamondbacks third (Kevin Hart pitching) — With two outs, Alex Romero singled to left. Gerardo Parra singled to center, Romero to second. Mark Reynolds doubled to left, Romero scored. Pirates 1, Diamondbacks 1
Pirates third — Andrew McCutchen walked. Milledge doubled to left, McCutchen scored. Pirates 2, Diamondbacks 1
Diamondbacks fifth — Augie Ojeda singled to left. Scherzer bunted to catcher, sacrifice, Ojeda to second. With two outs, Romero singled to right, Ojeda scored. Pirates 2, Diamondbacks 2
Diamondbacks fifth — Reynolds hit a solo home run (No. 33) to center on a 3-2 pitch. Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 2
Pirates sixth — Young singled to right. Brandon Moss walked, Young to second. Wild pitch, Young to third and Moss to second. With one out, Ronny Cedeno singled to center, Young and Moss scored. (Juan Gutierrez pitching) Steve Pearce (pinch-hitting for Hart) doubled to center, Cedeno scored, Pearce to third on the throw, Pearce scored on throwing error by catcher Miguel Montero. Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 3
Diamondbacks seventh (Jeff Karstens pitching) — Stephen Drew hit a solo homer (No. 8) to right on a 2-1 pitch. With one out, Parra singled to left. Reynolds singled to left, Parra to second. (Jesse Chavez pitching) Wild pitch, Parra to third and Reynolds to second. Montero grounded out to first base, Parra scored, Reynolds to third. Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 5
Diamondbacks eighth — Trent Oeltjen hit a solo homer (No. 1) to right on an 0-1 pitch. Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 6
Diamondbacks 12th (Steven Jackson pitching) — With one out, Augie Ojeda singled to center. Chris Snyder doubled to left, Ojeda to third. Drew was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Romero doubled to center, Ojeda and Snyder scored. Parra was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Dan Haren (pinch-hitting for Jon Rauch) flew out to center, sacrifice fly, Drew scored. Montero singled to right, Romero scored, Parra to third. Throwing error by right fielder Brandon Moss, Parra scored, Montero to third. Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 6