Pirates power up, then hold off D-backs' rally

Pirates power up, then hold off D-backs' rally

PHOENIX -- The Pirates edged the D-backs, 8-7, in a game that saw the teams combine for six home runs and 28 hits at Chase Field.

The victory, the second in a row for the Pirates, snapped the D-backs' five-game winning streak.

"At the end of the day, we were one run better than them," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a very gutsy ballgame on both sides."

The Pirates hit three home runs in the game, including back-to-back home runs by Sean Rodriguez and Gregory Polanco in the second inning to push the visitors ahead, 3-0. David Peralta's home run off Pirates starter Jonathon Niese put the D-backs on the board in the second, but the Pirates stung D-backs starter Patrick Corbin again, this time with home run by shortstop Jordy Mercer and RBI single by second baseman Josh Harrison to pull ahead, 5-1, in the top of the third.

Harrison's RBI single

"When they opened the roof, you could feel the wind whipping. It was a little crazy," Mercer said. "I think I've played one game with the roof open. You could feel it out there, the ball was flying, and you could see it the first few innings."

It was Corbin who scored the D-backs' second run of the game in the bottom half of the frame. In the fourth, the left-handed starter followed the first of two home runs in the game by catcher Welington Castillo and a triple by Chris Owings with an RBI double to keep his team within striking distance.

Corbin was charged with seven hits and five runs -- four earned -- in six innings for the loss. Niese gave up four runs on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings before yielding to Neftali Feliz to earn the victory.

Polanco's solo homer

"Obviously, some people say, 'Oh, it's tough to pitch [at Chase Field],' but it's tough for both guys," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "You have to battle and persevere. We go through this in Colorado all of the time. You just have to keep throwing punches. It's like a boxing match. You don't give up until the bell rings."

Early HRs lead to 'frustrating' start for Corbin

The D-backs rallied for three runs in the bottom of eighth to cut the Pirates' lead to one run. Pirates closer Mark Melancon induced a Yasmany Tomas groundout with the bases loaded to end the threat.

Escape artist: Melancon slips out of trouble

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Back-to-back bombs: Rodriguez and Polanco teamed up in the second inning to hit the Pirates' first back-to-back homers of the year. Rodriguez took Corbin 458 feet to left-center field for his second home run, and Polanco blasted a solo shot high off the batter's eye in center. The Pirates entered the night with only seven home runs, tied for second-fewest in the Majors.

"Maybe it's something in the water," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez's two-run homer

Going, going, long gone: Mercer crushed an 85 mph changeup from Corbin in the third inning, sending it a projected 466.1 feet to left-center field. Mercer's first homer of the season surpassed Nolan Arenado's projected 462.2-foot shot as the longest tracked by Statcast™ this season. Mercer's previous high mark was 411 feet.

Statcast: Mercer's moonshot

"When Mercer hits 'em, they don't just scrape the fence," Hurdle said. More >

Peralta power: D-backs right fielder David Peralta has reached base safely in 13 consecutive starts and 17 of 18 games this season. His second-inning home run off Niese was his second career home run against a left-handed pitcher -- a span of 187 plate appearances -- and his first since Sept. 12, 2015, against the Dodgers. Peralta finished 2-for-5.

Peralta's first homer of 2016

Castillo's surge: The D-backs' catcher hit two home runs Friday, with the first coming in the fourth inning and the second in the eighth inning to spark a three-run rally. Castillo last hit multiple home runs in a game on July 29, 2015, at Seattle. He also hit multiple home runs in a game on September 10, 2013, against the Reds while with the Cubs.

Five of Castillo's last six hits have been home runs and six of his last seven have been for extra bases.

Castillo's second homer

QUOTABLE
"As I was walking in before the game, they opened [the roof] up, and I'm like, 'Oh, boy.'" --Pirates starter Niese, on the challenges of pitching at Chase Field

"It makes me proud as a manager and our coaches are always excited that we play hard and that's just their DNA. They are never going to give up and when the ball is hit, they are going to run as hard as they can to first base and see if something good happens. Tonight, numerous times it did." -- D-backs manager Hale on his club's eighth-inning rally to cut the Pirates' lead to one run.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pirates closer Melancon recorded his first four-out save since Sept. 18, 2011, when he was pitching for the Astros.

Melancon nails down fourth save

Niese improved to 3-0 for the first time in his nine-year career.

REPLAY REVIEW
The D-backs requested a replay with two outs in the eighth inning on a ground ball hit by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to Pirates shortstop Mercer. Mercer lobbed the ball to first base and Goldschmidt was called out on the play. The call was overturned after the review, briefly keeping the D-backs' rally alive.

Goldschmidt's infield single

WHAT'S NEXT
Pirates: Right-hander Juan Nicasio will start the second game of the Bucs' three-game weekend series against the D-backs at 8:10 p.m. ET at Chase Field. After a remarkable spring that earned him a spot in the rotation, Nicasio is 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA. He was dominant in his debut, shaky in his second start and solid in a win over the Brewers on Sunday.

D-backs: Rubby De La Rosa returns to the starting rotation after being pressed into action in relief in last Saturday's 14-inning game with the Padres. He also pitched in relief against the Giants two days later.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.