PHILADELPHIA -- Of course Brandon Inge stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the eighth inning Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel had just summoned left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst to face Garrett Jones. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle countered with Inge, who recently joined the team after a rehabilitation assignment primarily to aid the Pirates against left-handed pitchers.
Inge happened to be a .321 career batter with the bases loaded.
Inge singled to score the go-ahead run in the Pirates' 5-3 win against the Phillies and represented the major blow against the Phillies' bullpen after six innings of near silence against Roy Halladay.
Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 1:05 p.m., Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia.
- TV, Radio:
Root Sports, KDKA-FM (93.7).
RHP James McDonald (2-2, 4.12 ERA) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (2-1, 2.83.
- Key matchup:
Lee vs. Brandon Inge, who is 16 for 43 (.372) against Lee in his career.
- Hidden stat:
Of the four walks Lee issued in 282/3 innings this season, three came in his previous start.
"These are the reasons why we got him," Hurdle said of Inge, who also hit an RBI double Tuesday in his first game as a Pirates.
Pedro Alvarez homered for the second time in as many starts to cut the Phillies' lead to one, and Travis Snider's RBI single off Mike Adams in the eighth tied it.
"I think we did a pretty good job of fighting," Alvarez said. "Once the bullpen came in, I think we tried to keep that same mindset of just having some long at-bats and seeing some pitches and really trying to stick to our approach."
Vin Mazzaro earned the win in relief and Jason Grilli earned his ninth save. Grilli and Mark Melancon have pitched consecutive games, which may leave Hurdle short-handed in the bullpen this afternoon for the series finale.
Adams walked pinch-hitter Jose Tabata to lead off the eighth. Starling Marte reached on an infield single and Snider singled to right to drive Tabata home. Adams walked Andrew McCutchen to load the bases, bringing Inge to the plate.
Marte's bloop triple off Chase Utley's glove scored another run in the ninth.
"That's what we try to do every game is play to the end, no matter what the score is, and fight," Alvarez said.
Halladay allowed one hit and one run in six innings, striking out eight. He recorded seven groundball outs compared to two flyball outs.
The Pirates entered the game without a hit in their past 21 at-bats with men in scoring position over the first two games of the series. No sooner did Marte lead off with a walk and steal second did Snider, McCutchen and Jones strike out looking.
"We've had more than our fair share of opportunities where our results, I believe, could have played out better," Hurdle said before the game. "I do believe we are taking on a little bit more than we need to. We need to simplify. Get a good pitch to hit and hit it hard."
Halladay fell behind each of the four batters he faced in the first and threw 25 pitches. Nevertheless, the Pirates couldn't score Marte, who also stole third without a throw. Halladay rebounded with a six-pitch second inning.
"We didn't adjust accordingly," Hurdle said. "He kind of had some method to what he was doing out there, but he was making pitches. And there was no hard contact, a lot of mis-hits."
Halladay didn't allow the Pirates a hit until the fourth, but put two men on to ensure that the hit did damage. Jones walked, and Halladay hit Neil Walker. Alvarez singled on a 2-2 curveball to score Jones and tie the game at 1-1.
There were a lot of Phillies on base against Wandy Rodriguez all night. With the bases empty, however, he allowed two home runs, one to Utley in the first and another Ryan Howard in the fourth.
"Not as sharp as the first two times out," Hurdle said of Rodriguez. "The curveball was probably half the curveball he had at home."
Howard's home run gave the Phillies a 2-1 lead in the fourth. They extended the lead in the sixth on a pinch-hit single by Kevin Frandsen, the third in a row off Rodriguez. Rodriguez allowed three runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The Pirates have a chance for a second consecutive series victory today, when James McDonald takes the mound. Left-hander Cliff Lee will start for the Phillies. That means Inge will start somewhere.mobilehome - breaking - pirates
Bill Brink: email@example.com and on Twitter @BrinkPG. First Published April 25, 2013 2:30 AM