PHOENIX -- The D-backs pounced on the Pirates' late mistakes in Monday night's comeback victory. On Tuesday, they didn't waste any time, capitalizing on a trio of errors in a six-run first inning that paced a 13-8 win at Chase Field."You feel like after that type of first inning, the
PHOENIX -- The D-backs pounced on the Pirates' late mistakes in Monday night's comeback victory. On Tuesday, they didn't waste any time, capitalizing on a trio of errors in a six-run first inning that paced a 13-8 win at Chase Field.
"You feel like after that type of first inning, the game is going to be that type of game," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said.
He was right. The game, which spanned 3 hours, 56 minutes, was sloppy and wacky.
It began in the first, when Jake Lamb hit a ground ball that could have been a double play, but Pirates first baseman Josh Bell spiked the throw to second and Jonathan Jay scored on the error. Moments later, John Ryan Murphy grounded an RBI single into left field to make it 2-0. Ketel Marte then ripped a two-out, two-run triple.
Then, the inning got crazier.
The Pirates intentionally walked Jarrod Dyson to get to D-backs starter Clay Buchholz. With runners on first and third and Buchholz at the plate, Pirates starter Trevor Williams made an errant pickoff throw to first.
Marte scored, while Dyson raced around second and headed for third. Second baseman Josh Harrison's throw to third was off, which allowed Dyson to score to make it 6-0. Five of the runs in the inning were unearned against Williams, who is an Arizona State alum.
"It's a good start, it's a good pace, you're really happy, but I think these guys are built to continue building on and tacking on runs," Lovullo said.
The D-backs added onto their lead in the third as a David Peralta RBI triple and a Marte sacrifice fly pushed it to 8-0.
But just as it looked to be a blowout, the Pirates gained momentum of their own. In the fourth, they struck for six runs to cut the deficit to two, capped by a three-run homer from Starling Marte.
"I felt like they had a really good approach," said Buchholz, who allowed six runs (two earned) over four innings. "They didn't go out of the zone a whole lot, they fouled off a lot of pitches, extended at-bats, and whenever I missed with a couple pitches, they hit it, and that's what professional hitters do."
Buchholz said he felt that he should have minimized the damage. Luckily for him, his teammates supported him.
The D-backs responded to the Pirates' six-run rally in the fourth with Daniel Descalso's two-run single off in the bottom of the inning to make it 10-6. Though the Pirates scored a run in the fifth and another in the seventh to trim their deficit to two, Jay's three-run blast in the seventh put the game out of reach.
"The biggest thing is we didn't quit," said Jay, who went 3-for-5 after entering hitless in 12 at-bats since being traded to the D-backs. "We kept going, kept pushing, kept playing hard. That was a big win right there."
After a rough May, the D-backs have scored 51 runs in their past five games. They have won five in a row and nine of their last 11.
"I felt very strongly that we would somehow, someway turn this thing around offensively and match the pitching," Lovullo said. "We're right in the middle of that, and it's a fun ride."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Hirano escapes late jam: The Pirates had already scored a run in the seventh inning off left-hander Andrew Chafin, and the score was 10-8, not out of reach just yet. Lovullo decided to go with Yoshihisa Hirano after David Freese walked to put two runners on for Sean Rodriguez. In a crucial spot, Hirano got Rodriguez to ground out to second to end the inning and preserve the lead.
"I feel very comfortable with Yoshi in any situation," Lovullo said. "He's earned that, he deserves that."
HE SAID IT
"It's hard, sometimes you do shut down and get distracted, but I don't think that was the case today. … It's definitely a focus issue, but I don't think we had a problem with it today."-- Lovullo, on adding onto a big lead
The D-backs will send Zack Greinke to the mound for the finale of the three-game series vs. the Pirates at Chase Field on Wednesday at 12:40 p.m. MST. The ace has pitched well at home, going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts this season. Arizona will face Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon.
Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.