The Pirates offense scraped together four runs to snap a losing streak and take the opening game of the homestand. Andrew McCutchen – scratched from the starting lineup due to illness – walked leading off the ninth and scored the winning run.
The Pirates got off to a good start. Neil Walker hit a solo homer in the first off of Ian Kennedy. An error by Pedro Alvarez got the third inning off to a poor start. Geraldo Parra followed that miscue with a double that scored Rusty Ryal to tie the game. Stephen Drew’s two out single off Brian Burres put the D-backs up a run.
Jose Tabata’s two out single in the fifth scored Ronny Cedeno to tie it up. Arizona forged ahead in the seventh. Parra’s second RBI double of the game scored Miguel Montero. Ryan Doumit tied the game with a homer in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Brooks Boyer.
Joel Hanrahan put two men on with one gone in the ninth and was pulled for Evan Meek. He got out of the jam by whiffing Brandon Allen and retiring Parra. That set it up for McCutchen. He walked leading off the inning against Esmerling Vasquez and moved to second when Doumit walked. Cedeno singled, knocking in Cutch and ending the game.
Burres and Kennedy both got no decisions. Kennedy allowed two runs – one earned – in six innings. He struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits. Burres gave up two earned runs – three total – in seven innings. He walked no one and gave up three hits while K-ing three. Meek got the win. Vasquez took the loss.
Burres has been pitching well lately. I’ll take that every time out, please.
Cedeno, Tabata and Walker each had two hits.
Alvarez’ error led to an unearned run.
This was Kennedy’s first career start against the Pirates. Burres has no decisions in three career starts against Arizona.
The Pirates hit multiple home runs in the same game for the first time in September. They had just two homers in their previous eight games.
Tabata had been hitless in his previous three games. Walker had been hitless in four straight games.
Arizona is in last place in the NL West and the Pirates are 9.5 games behind them. On a clear day, even mediocrity is so far away that it is blurry.