Pittsburgh –Wade Miley and the Diamondbacks shut the Pirates down for eight innings, but the ninth was a different story as the Pirates scored three times for a 3-2 come-from-behind win on Tuesday night.
The Pirates (43-40) knocked Miley out of the game in the ninth with a 2-0 lead when Neil Walker and Gregory Polanco singled to start the inning. Addison Reed then came in to try for the save, but failed. With one out, Starling Marte sent a 0-2 slider off of the top of the center field wall to tie things up. After an intentional walk to Andrew McCutchen, Ike Davis knocked a pinch-hit, walk-off single to right to complete the improbable.
“I didn’t want to take too many pitches and get down because not being in the game it’s hard to really have a great at bat,” said Davis. “You’re kind of just looking for a pitch you can make contact with and get out of there. Pinch-hitting is a different approach than starting from the first inning, so you got to swing early and get the pitch you can handle and hopefully it falls.”
Jeff Locke allowed baserunners in each of the first four innings, but worked out of them without any damage. Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley topped Locke’s early performance by going perfect through 4 2/3 innings. His perfect game was broken up by a Jordy Mercer bunt single.
The Diamondbacks (35-50) were finally able to break through against Locke in the fifth. After getting a quick two outs, Locke allowed a single to Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt then tried to steal second and looked to be picked off, but Gaby Sanchez overthrew Jordy Mercer allowing the runner to reach. Miguel Montero then singled in Goldschmidt with a hit to right. Josh Harrison made a strong throw home, but Russell Martin was unable to make the tag. Aaron Hill followed with a RBI bloop single to right to make it 2-0.
Locke would recover though, as he retired the final 10 batters he faced before being removed after eight innings of work.
“I think it’s easy to get into a momentum,” said Locke. “I know we gave up some hits here and there but the defense obviously played great behind me. A lot of balls that they made plays on, I didn’t even look, I just waited for the reaction of the crowd because I didn’t think there was a play made. Pedro a couple of times, unbelievable. When you have a guy like Miley out there that just keeps being efficient. He just kept going out there and getting outs. Able to send me back out there quick. I think it’s easy to get a good rhythm when the other guy has a good pace.”
Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first win as a Pirate, but it didn’t come without some excitement. With a runner on second and one out, Ender Incairte send a single to right. Harrison again made a solid throw home to nail the runner at the plate to keep the score 2-0.
“He’s done it now from both different outfield spots,” said manager Clint Hurdle. “He had another good throw earlier in the game where we just missed a guy at the plate. He’s done really good work with Sofield out there, not by trying to get big with his throw. He’s been very direct with his throws. It was a big play. You can see how big it turned out, obviously.”
Locke (ND): 8 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s. 105 Pitches (65 Strikes).
Miley (ND): 8+ IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 10 K’s. 111 Pitches (77 Strikes).
These two will be back at it tomorrow evening in the second game of the three-game set.
(RHP) Charlie Morton (PIT): 4-9, 3.41 ERA
(RHP) Chase Armstrong (AZ): 5-3, 3.63 ERA
First pitch is set for 7:05.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)