After taking the series in Colorado, the Pittsburgh Pirates returned home where they have been unbeatable as of late. In their last 27 games entering into Friday night, the Pirates are 21-6 at home, just dominating the competition.
But the Miami Marlins were confident coming into Pittsburgh as well, entering on a six game win streak.
In the opening game of a three-game series against the Marlins, the Pirates offense continued to roll as they busted out nine hits, including two home runs in a 4-3 victory.
The game did not start off well for the Bucs and starting pitcher Kevin Correia.
Correia, who entered the game with a 6-6 record and a 4.25 earned run average, gave up a home run to Marlins’ leadoff hitter Jose Reyes on the second pitch of the game. The next batter, Emilio Bonifacio singled to left and stole two bases before scoring on a Carlos Lee ground out.
The Pirates found themselves down 2-0 in a blink of the eye, but Correia settled down giving up only one more run in five innings of work striking out five.
As it has been since the All-Star break, the Pirates offense picked up their pitchers scratching out four runs, scoring the first one in the bottom of the first, thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Garret Jones that scored Alex Presley.
The Marlins would increase their 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, but the Pirates answered back with two of their own in the bottom half of the frame. The big shot coming off the bat of Pedro Alvarez, hitting his 20th home run of the season. After the Alvarez solo home run, Rod Barajas doubled to left and scored the tying run on a singe by Clint Barmes.
Neil Walker broke the tie the following inning hitting a solo shot of his own, his eighth of the season.
The bullpen nailed it down throwing up four shutout innings.
All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan nailed down his 27th save of the year, butt was a shaky outing for Hanrahan as he had not only the tying run but the leading run in scoring position. But with his back against the wall, Hanrahan go two big strikeouts in Reyes and Bonifacio in back-to-back at bats to end the game.
With this win the Pirates improve to 12 games over 500 and remain a half game back of first place in the National League Central.