Owings helps D-backs leave Bucs high & dry

Owings helps D-backs leave Bucs high & dry

PITTSBURGH -- The D-backs surrendered lead after lead against the Pirates, losing three of them in total. But Chris Owings made sure those blown leads didn't come back to haunt the D-backs, driving in the winning run in the 14th to give the D-backs a 6-5 win at PNC Park on Wednesday.

"I know C.O. is having a great year, and he's the right guy in the right place," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I think it speaks volumes about this team. We didn't shut down, one of those character wins, we showed toughness. It was a really special day for this team moving forward."

David Peralta singled to lead off the 14th. And Owings brought him home with a single to the right field after the Pirates intentionally walked Jake Lamb ahead of him. The go-ahead run came after a one-hour, 33-minute rain delay between the 11th and 12th innings.

Ahmed's go-ahead solo shot

"You kind of know it's going to happen hitting fourth or fifth in the order," Owings said of having the guy in front of him walked. "The biggest thing for me is just being ready because it's tough with that new rule because they just put you on, so you don't really get to spend any time getting loose on deck. So I've just kind of been trying to get ready as quick as I can in the dugout."

The D-backs could have won the game in the ninth, holding a 4-3 lead entering the frame. But closer Fernando Rodney couldn't lock down the save. They had another opportunity to win the game in the 11th when Nick Ahmed clobbered a two-out homer, but D-backs reliever J.J. Hoover allowed a two-out home run to Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer in the bottom of the frame to send the game to the 12th.

Mercer's game-tying homer

The D-backs finally broke through in the 14th, and reliever T.J. McFarland made sure the Pirates didn't come back a fourth time.

"There were plays that were made all over today by both sides," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We were never ahead, and I thought we battled, scratched and kept clawing … We kept playing. It's a team win, it's a team loss. There is connections. There is performance. There is execution. There is a lot of things that go on by both clubs to play this long."

Hanson scores to tie the game

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Small-ball rally: The Pirates only needed one hit to tie the game in the ninth. Francisco Cervelli and Andrew McCutchen both drew walks off Rodney. Rodney then misplayed a sac bunt from Gift Ngoepe to load the bases. Alen Hanson, pinch-running for Cervelli, scored on a Mercer double-play grounder to the shortstop.

Polanco's pinch-hit RBI single

Early returns: Pirates left fielder Gregory Polanco made his first appearance at the plate since suffering an ankle injury during the Pirates' 4-3 win over the D-backs on Monday. His return wasn't the only good news for the Pirates, though, as Polanco singled to right field to even the score at 2-2 in the fifth. He now has seven hits in his last 16 at-bats.

"He swung the bat earlier today, said he felt good," Hurdle said. "He's closer than I anticipated him being. We will see where he is Friday, but why push it running the bases. The swing of that bat tied the game. It was good to have him back."

QUOTABLE
"I think there was a general looseness when we came back up here that we were going to go back out there and find a way to win this game. The comments were built around fighting and unity and finding a way because we deserved to win that game." -- Lovullo, on mindset during the rain delay

"I think some people slept to be honest with you. We were doggone just tired. We have been on a brutal stretch lately. We are excited for this off-day, I know that." -- Mercer, on how the Pirates spent their time during rain delay

Kuhl K's the side

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
PIrates right-hander Chad Kuhl successfully introduced a curveball to his repertoire on Wednesday. Kuhl produced eight strikes and induced three groundouts with his new pitch.

"It's been something that we have been working on for awhile now," Kuhl said. "I wanted to add something that wasn't 88 to 90 miles per hour."

WHAT'S NEXT
D-backs: The D-backs continue their 11-game road trip Thursday night at 4:10 p.m. MT when they open a four-game set with the Marlins on Thursday night at Marlins Park. Zack Greinke, who had his four-start winning streak snapped last time out against the Brewers, will get the start for the D-backs.

Pirates: The Pirates will have an off-day on Thursday before traveling to face the Mets on Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field. Right-hander Gerrit Cole will start on the mound for the Pirates. Cole coughed up four runs on 10 hits in his last start on Saturday against the Mets. It was the second straight start Cole has allowed 10 hits and at least four earned runs.

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Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

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

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