Jordan Smith's RBI double with one out snapped the Javelinas' seven-game winless streak, a day after their slide was extended when Salt River rallied in the ninth for the tying run of what became a 3-3 deadlock at the AFL's 11-inning limit.
"It's good to be on the winning side of the comeback," said Smith, an outfielder in the Indians' farm system. "We've been struggling to win lately, so we were really glad to get this win."
The Javelinas followed the October script not only in walking off, but in how they engineered it. Before back-to-back doubles with one out in the 11th by Edward Salcedo and Smith won it, Kes Carter tied it with a solo homer with two outs in the ninth.
That's the same Kes Carter who had five homers in 481 plate appearances while splitting this season between the Rays' Class A Advanced A and Double-A levels.
"He definitely had a big day today," Smith said of Carter, the centerpiece of Peoria's two-run seventh, doubling for a run before scoring on Raul Mondesi's single. "When Kes hit that [double], it gave us a little boost, and we started getting a little confidence and we knew we had a good chance to win the game."
Smith had the last word, though, going opposite field on Colton Murray's 0-1 slider to chase home Salcedo, whose slide to beat left fielder Tyler Austin's throw triggered an overdue celebration.
"I was looking for something I could drive through the infield," Smith said. "When I saw [the pitch] was middle-away, I tried to hit it the other way. [Third baseman] Dante Bichette Jr. was there, and I saw him make a lunge at it. Once it got by him, I knew it was going to be a close play at the plate. It worked out for us, but it definitely was a close play."
Until turning around on the Javelinas' rally, the game had been a showcase of Pirates pitching prospects. Tyler Glasnow, Pittsburgh's No. 1, began it with his second straight start of three shutout innings and Adrian Sampson hurled a hitless sixth. In between, Angel Sanchez, an early August waiver pickup from the White Sox, blanked Peoria on a hit for two innings.
Josh Bell played behind Glasnow in Class A Advanced Bradenton's outfield last season and now is getting a closer look at the 6-foot-7 right-hander. In the AFL, Bell is exclusively playing first base, with the parent club focused on adding to his versatility.
"He's definitely chucking it," Bell said of Glasnow. "At first base, you definitely get a different look at the silly swings he gets out of people. But he's been dealing all year, now he's just doing it to different people."
Bell's only hit on Saturday was a sixth-inning double, followed by a Bichette single that drove him home and gave the Scorpions a 2-0 lead.