Gomez back for long haul

Gomez back for long haul

PITTSBURGH -- There were not many positives in the Pirates' 13-inning loss to the Giants on Monday night. The return of Jeanmar Gomez definitely was one.

Unlike Jeff Locke, Gomez hadn't really been anywhere else. Performance-wise, another story. The invaluably versatile reliever previously had only three brief scoreless, appearances this season out of nine -- and in one of those he'd allowed two inherited runners to score.

Taking over in the 10th on Monday, Gomez put up three clutch zeros. Most noticeably, he escaped a jam in the 11th after Angel Pagan had reached second base with none out.

"A quality effort," said manager Clint Hurdle, elated to again have a premier long man to count on. "He had a really good, crisp sinker, and mixed in his breaking ball. Mixed all his pitches well, kept them down. Really solid."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.