Pirates defeat Diamondbacks, 7-6
The Pirates' Neil Walker hits a three-run home run against the Diamondbacks in the first inning Wednesday night at PNC Park.
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The Pirates used three home runs in their defeat of the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night. One came from a familiar source, one from a new arrival.
Neil Walker hit one of the home runs on the way to a five-RBI night in the Pirates' 7-6 win against the Diamondbacks at PNC Park. Another came from rookie Jordy Mercer, who was making his sixth career major league start.
Mercer hit a 1-2 pitch from Josh Collmenter out to left field in the sixth inning, padding the Pirates' lead. Mercer was hitting .217 in 23 major league at-bats entering the game.
Mercer hit 19 home runs in the minors in 2011, a season he split between Class AA Altoona and AAA Indianapolis.
Walker hit his 13th home run, a three-run shot in the first inning. Starling Marte homered to center field for the second consecutive night.
The Pirates trail the Cincinnati Reds by 21/2 games in the NL Central after the win.
The Pirates played the seventh inning in a thunderstorm that briefly dumped heavy rain on the playing field. Thunder and lightning continued as the rain slowed, illuminating the skyline for the remainder of the evening.
The Diamondbacks wasted no time against Kevin Correia. Stephen Drew led off with a double and Willie Bloomquist bunted for a single, putting men on first and third with no outs. Chris Johnson, who hit two home runs Tuesday night, singled to score Drew. Paul Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly made the Diamondbacks' lead 2-0.
Walker erased the lead in the bottom half. Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones hit two-out singles before Walker hit a 2-2 changeup into the seats above the Clemente Wall in right field.
The homer was Walker's ninth since July 2. He had a .639 slugging percentage since that date entering Wednesday's game.
The Pirates aided the Diamondbacks in the fifth inning. Correia walked two batters, putting men on first and second for Willie Bloomquist. Bloomquist doubled, scoring Gerardo Parra.
Correia struck out Johnson, but Pedro Alvarez couldn't handle Paul Goldschmidt's ground ball. Stephen Drew scored on the error, tying the game at 4-4.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the third inning, but didn't drive home any runs. They capitalized on another opportunity two innings later, when two singles and an error loaded the bases in the fifth. Neil Walker doubled to left-center field, scoring two runs and giving the Pirates a 6-4 lead.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson replaced Kennedy with Matt Albers at that point. Albers' pitch to Rod Barajas got to the backstop, and Garrett Jones left third to try to score, but the ball bounced directly to Miguel Montero. Montero chased Jones back to third before throwing him out, and Rod Barajas struck out to end the inning.
Tony Watson struck out Chris Young looking with the bases loaded to end the seventh inning, prompting a tirade from Young, and home plate umpire Larry Vanover ejected Young almost immediately after the call. Young had to be separated from Vanover and escorted to the dugout. Justin Upton was also ejected for arguing with the umpires after the inning.
The Pirates got a solid outing from Correia, who made a spot start to give the rotation an extra day of rest. He allowed four runs, three earned, in six innings of work, walking three and striking out five.
First Published August 8, 2012 10:28 pm