Bucs end skid, hold off D-backs' power rally

Bucs end skid, hold off D-backs' power rally

PHOENIX -- For the first time in a week, there was music in the Pirates' postgame clubhouse. Pittsburgh got a solid pitching performance from Trevor Williams and timely hitting to snap a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Chase Field.

"Good to come in and get the W. That's always good," center fielder Andrew McCutchen said. "Trevor did a good job, kept us in the ballgame. We were able to actually get some hits with runners in scoring position."

Williams (2-2) allowed just one run on four hits over five innings and was backed by an opportunistic offense that capitalized on a pair of Arizona errors and got an RBI double by McCutchen and a pinch-hit, run-scoring single from John Jaso.

Williams right at home in return to Arizona

"The game demands execution. You have to execute to win. We executed better than them today," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "They made a couple mistakes on their side of the ball today. We scored two runs without an RBI. The execution is really the dividing line at all levels."

McCutchen's RBI double

Taijuan Walker (3-3) took the loss for the D-backs, who made things interesting late in the game thanks to a Paul Goldschmidt home run in the eighth and Nick Ahmed's second homer of the game in the ninth. The D-backs had the potential tying run on first when closer Tony Watson got A.J. Pollock to pop out to end the game.

"Had some opportunities in the ninth inning and we all thought something magical was going to happen," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Unfortunately, it didn't. If we played another inning or two, I think we would have caught them."

Ahmed's second solo home run

Key error: D-backs second baseman Brandon Drury made a diving play in the first inning that saved a run. In the fifth, though, he couldn't handle a two-out grounder off the bat of Williams. Instead of the D-backs being out of the inning, David Freese scored on the play as the Pirates took a 2-1 lead. The Pirates scored two runs in that inning on a swinging bunt by Gregory Polanco, Freese's single that deflected off Walker and Williams' grounder.

"A swinging bat is a dangerous bat. I've said it for years," Hurdle said. "I'm impressed with Trevor's work ethic since he's been back in the rotation. He works. All of them work to put the ball in play, to make contact. … Turned out to be a nice swing for us. Put a ball in play, we scored another run."

Freese scores on error

Good call: In the sixth, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli took off from first on a hit-and-run and because he was running the D-backs were unable to get him out on Jody Mercer's groundout to second. That would prove important when Jaso, pinch-hitting for Williams, followed with a single to right that scored Cervelli. Jaso got off to a rough start this season, carrying a .159 average, but he has delivered key hits in his last two pinch-hit appearances: a homer on Tuesday and what proved to be the game-winning RBI on Saturday.

"Jaso's shown the ability to hit off the bench," Hurdle said. "He's a big league hitter. He can do some things. He's going to help our club. You've got to keep feeding situations to him, finding opportunities for him. He's going to get his thing going as well. Big swing of the bat tonight. It was a very good at-bat."

Jaso's RBI single

"Baseball is weird. Some guys get on a roll. Some guys get cold. As we get going throughout the rest of the year, guys are going to keep rolling and we're going to get into a stretch where we're winning seven, eight in a row. I'm glad we got the win today." -- Williams

Williams escapes trouble

• After his RBI single, Jaso stole second base -- his first steal since Aug. 8, 2015.

• The Pirates are 13-4 this season on the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday games) but just 2-18 on weekdays.

Goldschmidt's solo shot to right

Pirates: The four-game series wraps up Sunday at 4:10 p.m. ET with right-hander Ivan Nova on the mound for Pittsburgh. Nova owns a 2.23 ERA in seven starts this season, but the Bucs have averaged only 2.71 runs in his outings.

D-backs: Robbie Ray takes the mound Sunday at 1:10 p.m MST coming off a loss against the Tigers in his last start, when he allowed five earned runs over five innings.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

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