PHILADELPHIA -- In the first of a two-game On Deck Series at Citizens Back Park between the two teams from the Keystone State, it was the Phillies who walked off with 7-5 victory on Friday night.
The hometown fans, at least those who remained from an announced crowd of 16,609, went home happy when Ben Revere lined a two-run home run off Angel Sanchez into the first row of seats in right field in the bottom of the ninth.
The Phillies entered the inning trailing 5-4 when Cesar Hernandez led off with a double off Sanchez. He scored the tying run when catcher Tony Sanchez picked up Angel Blanco's bunt and threw the ball down the right field line with Blanco taking second and setting the stage for Revere three batters later.
"It shows that this team has a lot of heart in coming back," said Revere, who homered twice in 601 at-bats last season. "Last year there were quite a few games when we were down three or four runs and came back in the ninth or [extra innings]. We played small ball tonight, did a lot of key things and hopefully we can win like that during the season."
The Pirates took a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning when Corey Hart singled home Jung Ho Kang, who led off with a double against Phillies reliever Justin De Fratus and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pittsburgh threatened to break it open by loading the bases with one out, but De Fratus was able to escape without further damage.
"It was nice to be here at home, and I like the way the guys battled back after getting down early and getting some big hits at the end," said Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg. "We put some numbers on the board after falling behind and I thought that was a good sign."
The Pirates wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard against Aaron Harang, the Phillies' No. 2 starter. After Josh Harrison led off the game with a walk, Gregory Polanco drove him home with a double to the wall in center and Andrew McCutchen followed with a single to drive in Polanco to make it 2-0.
"I think we're in a good spot right now," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "I definitely think we're healthy and ready to start the season."
With the help of two Pittsburgh errors in their half of the first, the Phillies scored three times off Jeff Locke to take the lead. Odubel Herrera, a Rule 5 pick and the team's new centerfielder who entered the game hitting .355, got things going when he led off with a dribbler in front of the plate and raced to second base when Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli's wild throw went down the right field line. Herrera scored when Ryan Howard hit into a fielder's choice.
Jordy Mercer led off the second with his third home run of the spring to pull Pittsburgh even. Locke then became the sixth Pirate in the first turn through the order against Harang to reach safely via a hit or walk when he followed with a single. Locke also singled in the fifth to drive in Starling Marte and knot the score at four and put an end to Harang's evening.
Harang allowed 14 (nine hits) of the 27 batters he faced to reach safely in 4 2/3 innings in his final tune-up before taking the mound Wednesday against visiting Boston.
Locke, the Pirates' fifth starter, threw 49 strikes among 71 pitches in five innings. He allowed four hits and four runs, three earned.
"He managed the game very well," said Hurdle. "He had a good two-seamer and was very efficient. He also swung the bat well."
Up Next:The Phillies and the Pirates complete their two-game series and conclude the spring training schedule Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park. Charlie Morton will get the start for the Pirates and he will be opposed by David Buchanon.
Tom Layberger is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.