Pirates rally back for 11-inning victory over Reds


With their third 11th-inning rally of the week, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 on a warm Sunday afternoon, preventing a Reds sweep in a three-game set at PNC Park.

The Bucs snapped their two-game losing streak and pushed their record to 35-22 in front of a crowd of 29,407. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are now tied for second place in the NL Central, 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis.

After getting shut out in the first two games of the series, the Pirates trailed 4-0 in the middle of Sunday’s first inning. Home runs from Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones led the comeback, which was supported by the bullpen throwing 10 scoreless frames to close the contest.

Jun 2, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Garrett Jones (46) hits a 463 foot home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the eighth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 5-4 in eleven innings. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With one out in the 11th, Russell Martin reached first base on a throwing error by Reds shortstop Zack Cozart. Cincinnati righthander Alfredo Simon walked Alvarez to move Martin to second base.

After Jordy Mercer flied out, Travis Snider delivered a walk-off single to right field over second baseman Cesar Izturis’ head, scoring Martin and bringing home the victory for the Bucs.

Pittsburgh entered the eighth inning trailing 4-2, but Andrew McCutchen reached on an infield single with two outs. Garrett Jones then blasted a 2-1 slider from righthander Jonathan Broxton into the Allegheny River on the fly to tie the game.

Jones became the first Pirate to reach the water on the fly in 12-plus seasons at PNC Park and just the second player to ever do it. The distance was estimated at 463 feet. Houston’s Daryle Ward sent one into the water on July 6, 2002.

The Pirates bullpen came to the rescue as five relievers combined to cover for righthanded starter Jeanmar Gomez, who was removed in the first inning with tightness in his right forearm after giving up four runs. Gomez allowed four hits, walked one, and hit one batter in Pittsburgh’s shortest start of the season.

Righthanders Vin Mazzaro and Bryan Morris each worked three innings while righties Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli went one inning each. Lefthander Justin Wilson gave up one hit and struck out three over the 10th and 11th innings to improve his record to 5-0.

Cincinnati starter Mat Latos got a no-decision as he was the victim of a blown save for the fourth time this season. He allowed two runs on three hits to go along with seven strikeouts over six innings.

In the bottom of the second, Alvarez lined his 11th home run of the season over the Clemente Wall off Latos. Alvarez’s solo shot snapped a 19-inning scoreless drought for the Bucs and made the score 4-1.

Alex Presley’s leadoff infield single in the sixth inning broke a long string of success for Latos following the Alvarez homer. Starling Marte walked and Andrew McCutchen followed with a single to score Presley and cut the Pittsburgh deficit to two.


The Pirates hit the road for a six-game road trip starting on Monday. The first stop is Atlanta for a three-game set. The Braves will send righthander Kris Medlen (1-6, 3.48 ERA) to the hill, while Pittsburgh will go with righhander A.J. Burnett (3-5, 2.72 ERA). The contest will be broadcast on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: Clint Hurdle’s crew has been swept only once this season, in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium from April 5-7…The last time the Bucs were swept in a series at PNC Park was during a three-game series against Milwaukee last season on September 18-20…With his home run on Sunday, Garrett Jones is now tied with Craig Wilson for second on the all-time list at PNC Park. Jason Bay is the leader with 61…Pedro Alvarez has hit 11 home runs since April 18 and only Domonic Brown, with 13, has hit more in the National League.