Pirates' bullpen allows damage in 10-4 loss to Diamondbacks
The Pirates' Travis Snyder scores the go-ahead run in the seventh inning Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
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It took 109 games, but the Pirates' streak of holding leads after the seventh inning snapped Tuesday night.
When the Pirates lost, 10-4, to the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park, it ended a 53-0 run when the Pirates led after seven innings. The bullpen, an uncommon culprit in Pirates losses this season, allowed most of the damage.
The instrument that did the snapping was the bat of Chris Johnson, who hit a three-run home run off Jason Grilli in the eighth inning. He would hit another, off Jared Hughes in the ninth, to extend the lead.
Grilli had not allowed a run since July 16. He allowed his previous four runs over an 18-game span beginning June 15. Hughes had allowed two earned runs in his past 14 appearances before Tuesday.
The Pirates bullpen ranked second in the major leagues with a 2.79 ERA entering the game and their 30 home runs allowed was tied for eighth.
Miguel Montero tied the score in the top of the eighth. Paul Goldschmidt doubled and Justin Upton's single sent Goldschmidt to third. Montero singled through the hole between first and second to score Goldschmidt before Johnson, who came over from the Houston Astros before the trade deadline, hit his 12th home run of the season.
The Pirates trailed 3-2 until the bottom of the seventh, when Starling Marte hit a 3-2 fastball from Takashi Saito into the shrubbery in center field to tie the game.
After Marte's homer, Travis Snider singled and Andrew McCutchen doubled, putting men on second and third with no outs. Manager Clint Hurdle sent Garrett Jones to pinch-hit for Gaby Sanchez against the right-handed Saito, and Saito intentionally walked him to load the bases.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson brought in lefty Mike Zagurski to face Neil Walker, who hit a sacrifice fly to left and scored Snider to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead.
Jeff Karstens allowed only three runs but gave up eight hits in six innings. Karstens, who had pitched five innings in each of his previous two starts, threw more pitches than usual early in the game. His efficiency improved after the fourth inning.
Those eight hits, including a home run from Stephen Drew, all came in the first four innings, during which he threw 84 pitches. He threw a combined 16 pitches in his next two innings and retired his final seven batters.
The Pirates squeezed two runs off Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin, a 22-year-old rookie making his seventh major league start. Corbin allowed two runs in six innings and struck out seven.
The Diamondbacks equaled their hit total from the previous night in the first inning. Drew led off with a single and went to third on two ground-outs. Goldschmidt lined a ball off Karstens' upper thigh, scoring Drew.
Manager Clint Hurdle and head trainer Todd Tomczyk visited Karstens on the mound, but he stayed in the game.
The Pirates evened the score in the bottom half. Marte and Snider singled, putting runners on first and third with no outs. Gerardo Parra dropped Andrew McCutchen's easy fly ball, and Marte scored from third to tie the game at 1-1.
Drew led off the third inning with a home run on a 2-2 breaking ball over the wall in right field, giving the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead.
Jason Kubel singled and Goldschmidt doubled off Snider's glove at the track in right, putting men on first and third with one out, but Karstens stranded them there with a strikeout and a fly ball.
Snider doubled in the third and scored on McCutchen's single to tie the game at 2-2.
Two more hits in the fourth inning gave the Diamondbacks the lead again. Parra singled, went to second on Corbin's sacrifice bunt and scored on Drew's third hit of the game to take a 3-2 lead.
After the fourth inning, Karstens used three ground balls, two fly balls and a strikeout to retire the Diamondbacks in order in the fifth and sixth.
First Published August 7, 2012 10:42 pm