Cord Phelps hit a walk off three run homer off Tim Wood in the eleventh inning, concluding a game delayed by rain for nearly two hours and giving Cleveland a three game sweep. The Pirates scored twice in the first off of Justin Masterson and then not again. Jeff Karstens pitched well again, but has nothing to show for it.
The first inning started off well. Xavier Paul tripled and scored on a Neil Walker single. Garrett Jones’ base knock moved Walker to third. A grounder from Matt Diaz forced Jones out at second but allowed Walker to cross the plate. Pittsburgh nearly added to the lead in the second. Ronny Cedeno doubled and moved to third on a passed ball. But Dusty Brown lined out. Andrew McCutchen’s grounder to Jack Hannahan at third turned into an out at home as he nailed Cedeno trying to score.
Cleveland tied it in the bottom of the second. Carlos Santana led off with a dinger. Phelps doubled and moved to third on a passed ball. Hannahan walked. Lou Marson hit into a double play that brought in Phelps with the tying run. And that was how it stayed.
The delay came after the top of the eighth. When it was over, the Pirates dipped into the bullpen. Jose Veras, Chris Resop and Tony Watson combined to throw three scoreless innings. Tim Wood was called on for the eleventh. Shin-Soo Choo singled and stole second with one out. That brougth Carlos Santana to the plate. He was walked in order to face Phelps. The Pirates had employed the exact same strategy in the sixth with success, inducing a ground ball out from Phelps witih two away to end the threat. This time, Phelps homered to end it.
Karstens went seven innings and allowed five hits and one earned run. He whiffed four and walked two. Masterson struck out five and walked one. He surrendered seven hits. He was charged with both Pirate runs. Wood was the loser. Tony Sipp pitched a scoreless eleventh inning for the win.
Karstens continues to be excellent.
Walker, Brandon Wood and Cedeno each had two hits.
Falling under .500
Losing three straight.
Only scoring two runs.
Leaving 14 men on base.
Masterson has no decisions in two career appearances against the Pirates. Karstens remains 1-0 against Cleveland.
Phelps came into the game 1-16 in his brief Major League career.
Grady Sizemore was 0-5 with four whiffs.