Marte's ninth-inning single lifts Pirates past D-backs
By Barry M. Bloom and Tom Singer
A.J. Burnett and Rubby De La Rosa tangled in a battle of right-handers on Saturday at Chase Field with each pitcher throwing seven innings of one-run ball.
But neither hurler was around when Starling Marte singled home Neil Walker off Addison Reed with two out in the top of the ninth, giving the Bucs a 2-1 win in the second game of the three-game set. Tony Watson pitched out of big trouble in the bottom of the eighth to earn the win.
Marte's single followed Walker's second double of the game. Four of Pittsburgh's seven hits were doubles.
De La Rosa made the best of his four starts since joining the D-backs in an offseason trade with Boston, allowing four hits and striking out eight without walking a Pirate. The veteran Burnett was his equal, giving up a run on five hits while walking two (one intentional) and whiffing four.
"[Reed got those first two outs], but couldn't get that third one," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "I can't tell you what the major issue was. They battled him and were resourceful, more resourceful than we were tonight."
The win gave the Pirates their first four-game winning streak in the month of April since 2008. "We didn't do a lot on offense, but found a way to scratch out a run in the ninth," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Watson brings nails: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle often lauds left-hander Watson's effectiveness against right-handed as well as lefty hitters, and he got a glaring chance to prove his manager right. With D-backs on second and third and one out in the eighth, Watson not only got to take on both Mark Trumbo and Aaron Hill with first base open, but retired both to keep the game tied at 1. More >
Unchartered territory for McCutchen: Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 in his fourth straight hitless start, and is in a career-worst slump no matter how it's measured. At 0-for-16, it's his longest-ever oh-fer. Including one pinch-hit appearance, McCutchen also has gone hitless in five straight games for the first time in his All-Star career. More >
Gosewisch knocks in his third run of the season: D-backs manager Chip Hale has been trying to manipulate the bottom half of his club's order to get some offensive production and his catcher, Tuffy Gosewisch drove home the first run with a single, hitting out of the seventh slot. He had two singles in the game.
New D-backs relief mark: When Brad Ziegler came on in the eighth inning it was his 254th relief appearance for the D-backs, breaking the club record held by Jose Valverde. Ziegler retired the side in order. More >
Burnett kept waiting: If you want to help out Burnett by taking up a collection, make sure it is for runs. The veteran righty again was at his bullish best, allowing one run in seven innings, and remained winless. Burnett has allowed five runs in four starts -- and has received only four.
"Those are body punches to the other team." -- Hurdle on two-out RBIs, which is how the Pirates have done all their scoring in winning the first two games of the series, 4-1 and 2-1
"[De la Rosa] used all of his pitches. He has to mix it up against a good hitting team and he held them to one run. I thought he did great job. We used all three pitches -- fastball, slider, changeup. He located the fastball well and kept them off balance." -- Gosewisch on De la Rosa's performance
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Danny Dorn played 10 years and 937 games in the Minors before the D-backs brought him up on Tuesday night. He's pinch-hit in each of the four games since then and is still looking for his first Major League hit. He's 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts after whiffing with a big swing on a full count against Burnett to end the seventh.
A.J. Burnett has put together three straight starts with no more than one run allowed for the fifth time in his career -- but this is his first such streak in nearly a decade, since Aug. 9-19, 2005.
In the first inning, the Pirates' Gregory Polanco stole second base with Neil Walker at the plate. The safe call was challenged by D-backs manager Chip Hale. After a 3 minute, 43 second review, the call on the field was sustained.
WHAT'S NEXT Pirates:Francisco Liriano, with two quality yet winless road starts in the books, takes another crack at his first victory of the season in the 4:10 p.m. ET finale of the Chase Field series against Arizona.
D-backs:Jeremy Hellickson makes his first start ever against the Pirates. He had made his first 115 of 118 starts for the Rays over the in the American League. The finale of the three-game series is slated for Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT in Chase Field.