The Pittsburgh Pirates got a solid start from pitcher Jeanmar Gomez to go along with Andrew McCutchen’s 4-for-4 performance to down the Seattle Mariners 4-1 on Tuesday night at PNC Park.
Gomez threw five shutout innings while making the surprise spot start, and improved his record to 2-0. Gomez allowed just two hits, struck out five and walked two on 66 pitches. He got the assignment after scheduled starter James McDonald was sent to the 15-day disabled list with discomfort in his right (throwing) shoulder.
Left fielder Starling Marte led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single off Mariners’ starter Aaron Harang. Back-to-back doubles by right fielder Travis Snider and center fielder Andrew McCutchen put two runs on the scoreboard for the Bucs (18-14).
Seattle (15-19) cut into the Pirates’ lead in the seventh, pushing across its only run of the game. Second baseman Dustin Ackley singled to center field with one out, and pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez doubled to right field with two out to score Ackley.
In the bottom of the eighth, Andrew McCutchen singled to left field. Then, first baseman Garrett Jones hit his fourth home run of the season to make the final score 4-1.
Lefthanders Justin Wilson and Tony Watson, then righties Jose Contreras and Mark Melancon all answered the call out of the bullpen to help preserve the win with an inning each. Jason Grilli pitched a perfect ninth and picked up his major league-leading 13th save.
The Pirates and Mariners take the field at PNC Park for the second game of their two-game series on Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (4-2, 1.60) will face A.J. Burnett (3-2, 2.57) on the mound. On Thursday, the Bucs are at Citi Field in New York to start a four-game series with the Mets.
From The Clipboard: Catcher Russell Martin was also scratched, complaining of neck stiffness. Michael McKenry took his spot behind the plate…Tuesday marked the first interleague action of the season for the Bucs, and it is just the second time that Pittsburgh has hosted Seattle. The last time the Mariners were at PNC Park was 2004…The Pirates went 10-8 against the American League last season, including 7-2 at PNC Park…Clint Hurdle’s crew are 17-9 over the last 26 games after losing four straight and starting the season 1-5.