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Pirates' defense has a field day despite loss

Marte, Joyce and Harrison make impressive plays during series finale
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Sharp defense kept the Pirates in the game Sunday, although they would eventually drop the series finale to the Angels, 5-4.

In the seventh inning, starter Gerrit Cole had given up back-to-back RBI doubles as the Angels began mounting a comeback. Neftali Feliz replaced Cole on the mound with Pittsburgh leading by a run, and Yunel Escobar sent a line drive out to center. Starling Marte sprinted to his right and secured the inning-ending out with a diving catch.

Full Game Coverage

PITTSBURGH -- Sharp defense kept the Pirates in the game Sunday, although they would eventually drop the series finale to the Angels, 5-4.

In the seventh inning, starter Gerrit Cole had given up back-to-back RBI doubles as the Angels began mounting a comeback. Neftali Feliz replaced Cole on the mound with Pittsburgh leading by a run, and Yunel Escobar sent a line drive out to center. Starling Marte sprinted to his right and secured the inning-ending out with a diving catch.

Full Game Coverage

Marte wasn't alone in wowing with his fielding. In the third, right fielder Matt Joyce launched to his left to nab a line drive by Gregorio Petit. In the second, second baseman Josh Harrison fielded a slow roller and fired to first base. Carlos Perez was initially ruled safe, but after the Pirates challenged, the call was overturned on review.

Video: LAA@PIT: Joyce dives for the spectacular diving catch

It wasn't enough for a win, as reliever Tony Watson surrendered a two-run homer to Albert Pujols in the eighth. Regardless, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was pleased with the effort on defense.

"They show up to play. Our guys showed up to play," Hurdle said. "You win, you lose, but they go out there and make plays and provide support for their pitchers. They'll never back down. They're hunting outs."

Cole, who allowed six hits and three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings, appreciated the support behind him. He pointed to Joyce in thanks after Joyce made his diving catch.

"The guys made good plays in the infield," Cole said. "We did a great job today."

Video: LAA@PIT: Cole fans four over 6 2/3 innings

 

Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

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

Pittsburgh Pirates