Jason Bay's two-out home run in the 13th inning gave the Pirates a 4-3 victory against Tampa Bay last night at PNC Park.
The Pirates broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning on a two-out pinch-hit double by Doug Mientkiewicz.
In the eighth, however, Jonny Gomes, who had been 0 for 8 as a pinch-hitter this season, fought Damaso Marte through a long at-bat before homering over the center-field wall on the 15th pitch he saw.
Ty Taubenheim gave the Pirates a solid effort as a fill-in starter. The right-hander allowed seven hits -- including four in the sixth inning -- three walks and two runs in his six innings.
Taubenheim was the ninth pitcher to start a game for the Pirates this season.
- Game: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Pirates, 1:35 p.m., PNC Park.
- TV/Radio: FSN Pittsburgh, WPGB-FM (104.7).
- Pitching: RHP Andy Sonnanstine (8-3, 4.85) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (6-6, 6.43).
- Key matchup: Each starter vs. daylight. In three day game starts, Sonnanstine has allowed 27 hits and 15 runs in 16 2/3 innings. In six day game starts, Gorzelanny has an 8.04 earned run average.
- Of note: Sonnanstine, who attended Kent State, has allowed three earned runs or less in each of his past six starts. He hasn't pitched more than 52/3 innings in any of them, though.
Since Tom Gorzelanny's exit in the first inning at Cincinnati May 28, it seems as if the Pirates have had to monitor their pitching staff constantly.
There have been starters injured. Relievers injured. Pitchers unavailable for a couple days for various reasons. All of which created a series of roster moves.
"It's something we're going through," Pirates pitching coach Jeff Andrews said.
"I've been at the other end of it in the minor leagues, and you get guys taken away from you.
"It's different here in the big leagues. You can add when you want to add at any notice. When it's hard is when you have to scramble when you have six [healthy] pitchers and three bullpen guys and you don't have starters for two days. That's scrambling. This is [just] part of the job. It's much easier here to fill needs than in the minor leagues."
So the Pirates aren't in "scramble mode."
"We have a guy pitching tonight," Andrews said. "We have a guy pitching every night. You're not taking your setup guy and having him start and having to pitch three innings and trying to get through nine. We have a full complement of pitchers."
Taubenheim, claimed off waivers from Toronto in December, hadn't started a major league game since June 23, 2007.
"He's not a big strikeout guy," Pirates manager John Russell said. "He's a guy who can force contact and, hopefully, get it on the ground. That's what he's going to have to do -- keep the ball down in the zone."
Taubenheim didn't keep the ball down at the beginning of a game whose start was delayed 42 minutes by rain.
B.J. Upton dropped his first pitch into center for a single. Carl Crawford lined his second pitch into center for another single that sent Upton to third. On Taubenheim's third pitch, Crawford stole second. And on the fourth, Evan Longoria lifted a sacrifice fly to center that scored Upton and moved Crawford to third.
Taubenheim kept Crawford at third by striking out Eric Hinske and Carlos Pena.
Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson took the mound having not pitched since last Saturday. He served a five-game suspension for his part in the Rays/Boston Red Sox brawl at Fenway Park June 5.
Jackson retired the Pirates in order in the first, but didn't fare as well in the second when they tied the game.
Ryan Doumit walked on a 3-2 pitch. Xavier Nady doubled to right-center field, moving Doumit to third. Adam LaRoche grounded sharply to shortstop Jason Barlett behind second base, and Doumit scored.
The Pirates had a chance to take the lead after Jose Bautista's single off Longoria's glove put runners on the corners. Jack Wilson, who had five hits in his previous six at-bats, bounced into a double play.
None other than Taubenheim gave Taubenheim the lead in the fifth.
Bautista opened with a double off the center-field wall and eased to third on Wilson's fly to right. Taubenheim, 1 for 4 in his career as a hitter as he stepped in, drove a 3-1 pitch into left field for double, netting his first major league RBI.
The Rays promptly tied the game again in similar fashion.
Hinske drove a leadoff double into the left-field corner, then took third on Pena's fly to right. Hinske scored on Dioner Navarro's single to center.
Taubenheim, though, ended the damage there and finished with a quality start. His control was a bit spotty, though. Of his 101 pitches, only 52 were strikes.
One other note about Taubenheim's performance?
He walked Jackson on four pitches in the third. That was the fourth time a Pirate pitcher walked his American League counterpart in the past four games.
First Published June 29, 2008 4:15 AM