Five-run eighth inning rally lifts Pirates over D-backs
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kevin Correia throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday in Pittsburgh. (AP photo)
After all, they’re contending for first place a year after a 97-loss season and they’ve been the hottest team in the majors over the past four weeks. But Lyle Overbay hit a three-run double to cap a five-run eighth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for an 8-5 win Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh patiently waited out starter Daniel Hudson, then quickly pounced on what had been a reliable Diamondbacks bullpen.
“It’s a tough one to swallow,” said Hudson, who had won seven of his previous nine starts. “I remember talking to CY (teammate Chris Young) in the seventh inning and saying it felt like we should have scored eight runs by that point instead of five.
“We’ve come back so many times this season that it was a strange feeling for it to happen to us.”
The Diamondbacks lost for the first time in 25 games this season when leading after seven innings. Conversely, they had won five times when trailing heading into the eighth.
Arizona was in position for its 19th win in 24 games after Hudson allowed only one earned run through seven innings, but Daniel Hernandez (2-2) did not retire any of the six batters he faced in the eighth.
Jose Tabata had an RBI double and Josh Harrison an RBI single before Overbay’s line drive to right-center with the bases loaded.
“Nightmarish would be one word you could use to describe (the eighth inning),” acting Arizona manager Alan Trammell said. “Momentum is a wonderful thing if you’re on the good side of it. They got the momentum going in that inning and we tried to minimize the damage but we couldn’t.”
Juan Miranda had a home run among his career-high four hits, Kelly Johnson homered and had three RBIs, and Young also homered for Arizona.
After pinch-hitter Garrett Jones, Tabata and Harrison had hits to start the eighth, Xavier Paul reached on a sacrifice bunt. Hernandez walked Andrew McCutchen on four pitches and went 3-0 on Overbay.
“It was a matter of not putting away the first hitter and not getting them to swing and miss,” Hernandez said. “I don’t worry about command. When you’re throwing 93, 94, 95, you just have to throw it over the plate and, a lot of times, they aren’t going to hit it. Tonight, they hit it.”
Overbay entered the game with four hits in his previous eight at-bats, but was 0 for 3 against Hudson. His double was his 299th in the majors.
“We had some great at-bats to lead up to that,” Overbay said, “and I got into a count where he’s got to throw a strike, so I took advantage of it.”
Chris Resop (2-1) struck out Ryan Roberts to end the top of the eighth, and Joel Hanrahan had two strikeouts working a perfect ninth for his 15th save in as many opportunities.
Hudson was charged with three hits and one walk. He had seven strikeouts and retired 12 of the final 13 he faced. But with his pitch count at 105, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
“Hudson pitched a pretty good game for them today, they got a new guy in there, and we were able to jump on him,” said McCutchen, who scored his third run in the eighth. “We didn’t give up; we just kept battling.”
The decisions to lift Hudson — and to stick with Hernandez for so long — were made by Trammell, the bench coach who managed the Diamondbacks while Kirk Gibson served a one-game suspension.
“(Hudson) did a good job of battling back from a rough start to the game, but we thought seven innings was enough,” Trammell said. “We wanted to go to Hernandez and then to (closer J.J. Putz) and hope it was a D-Back win, but it did not happen that way.”
Reliever Esmerling Vasquez retired all three batters he faced after relieving Hernandez in the eighth — available because he is appealing his own three-game suspension after he was judged to have been throwing at hitters in Sunday’s game against the Washington Nationals after both teams were warned.
All three of Arizona’s home runs were solo shots. Johnson homered for the second consecutive game, giving him a team-high 12, in the first. Miranda’s was his sixth, leading off a three-run fifth that also included a two-run double by Johnson.
When Young hit his 11th home run to left to lead off the eighth, it appeared the Diamondbacks were on their way to another win, their seventh consecutive on the road. Instead, they have a two-game losing streak.
“Shows you how quickly things can change in a game,” Harrison said.
After giving up three runs on five hits in the fifth, Pirates starter Kevin Correia’s night was over. He was charged with four runs and eight hits. Correia failed in his attempt to take over sole possession of the league lead in victories with nine.