The Diamondbacks scored first Saturday, but it was the Pittsburgh Pirates who pushed the winning run across the plate in the ninth as they won 2-1 in Arizona.
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The crew of the Jolly Roger are sailing along on a four-game winning streak as they lifted their record to 10-8. They have won seven of their last nine contests.
It was A.J. Burnett‘s turn to give the Bucs seven good innings. The North Little Rock, Arkansas native allowed five hits and one earned run. He struck out four and walked just two. The 6-foot-4, 227-pound righthander threw 54 of his 88 pitches for strikes.
Pedro Alvarez tied the game up for the Pirates in the fourth with his double to right off D-backs starter Ruddy De La Rosa that brought Walker home from third. On a side note, four of the Bucs seven hits on the night were doubles
Walker is on an eight-game hitting streak. It was the second night in a row that the 6-foot-3, 210-pound second baseman went 2-for4 at the plate.
De La Rosa scattered four hits while striking out eight and walked none for Arizona. While the 6-foot-1, 225-pound righthander permitted one earned run, he did throw 67 of his 98 pitches for strikes.
It looked promising for the D-backs offense in the early going. Tuffy Gosewisch singled on a line drive to right off Burnett in the bottom of the second that scored Chris Ownings from second base.
The Pirates effective pitching performance continued when Hurdle went to the bullpen. Tony Watson was able to pitch himself out of jam when he took over in the eighth. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound lefthander claimed his first win of the season as he hurled 13 of his 20 pitches for strikes.
Mark Melancon came on in the ninth to pick up his third save in a row and his fifth overall of the season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound righthander threw 11 of his 19 pitches for strikes.
There was a replay challenge in the first inning. Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco stole second with Walker at the plate. The safe call was challenged by Arizona manager Chip Hale and it was upheld after a three minute, 43 second review.
Up Next: The Pirates and Diamondbacks wrap up their three-game set Sunday. The first pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. Arizona (8-9) will send righthander Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 4.58 ERA) to the mound and the Bucs will go with Francisco Liriano (0-1, 3.00 ERA).
The 31-year-old will be making his fourth start of the season. His last start was a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 2-0 loss to the Cubs Tuesday at PNC Park. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound lefthander is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against Arizona. The game will be on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.
From The Clipboard: The time of the game was 2:52 and the attendance at Chase Field in Phoenix was 38,859…The Pirates are 8-4 this season when they hit a home run in the game…Going into Saturday night’s contest, Pittsburgh’s outfielders have combined to hit nine home runs this season, which is the most among all National League teams.