Pirates edge Phillies on Marte's single in 13th
PITTSBURGH -- Left fielder Starling Marte broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 13th inning with an RBI single up the middle, sending the Pirates to a 1-0 win over the Phillies at PNC Park on Friday night, their first walk-off victory of the season.
And they had to wait a while for it. More so than just the other 59 games they'd played this year.
Rain delayed the start of the game by an hour and 26 minutes. Pittsburgh and Philadelphia then traded zeroes for four hours, 34 minutes and 12 1/2 innings before pinch-hitter Chris Stewart singled, moved to second on a groundout and scored -- after 1 a.m. ET on Saturday morning -- on Marte's ground ball single to center off Phillies reliever Dustin McGowan.
"I was focused. Hit the ball to the middle," Marte said. "It was a good pitch to hit the ball that way. … Be focused on one pitch, try to hit the ball."
The two clubs finished a combined 1-for-19 with runners in scoring position, leaving 30 runners on base.
"Twenty-five zeroes, the number of men left on base for both sides, pitchers on both sides pitching through things, making pitches when they had to -- I don't know if I've ever been involved with one of this magnitude to go 13 innings like that," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was a wonderful game to watch."
It was the 900th win of Hurdle's career, making him the fifth active manager to reach that milestone. He joins the Giants' Bruce Bochy, the Angels' Mike Scioscia, the Orioles' Buck Showalter and the Indians' Terry Francona in the 900-win club.
The Pirates had a chance to pull ahead in the 10th, loading the bases with a pair of singles and the Phillies intentionally walked Jordy Mercer to load the bases with two outs. Corey Hart, making his first plate appearance since June 5 as a pinch-hitter, struck out to leave the bases loaded.
Before that, Pittsburgh's Jeff Locke and Philadelphia's Kevin Correia squared off in an unlikely pitchers' duel. Locke allowed six hits, but no runs, in his first three innings then responded with three hitless innings after that.
Correia, making his season debut, held his former club to five hits and a walk while striking out four over 5 2/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crash the wall, hold the ball: With a runner on first and two outs in the sixth, Phillies left fielder Cody Asche sent a fly ball soaring toward the Clemente Wall in right field. Gregory Polanco glided back, left his feet and extended his right arm. The ball rolled all the way up his glove, but Polanco secured it even as he banged into the out-of-town scoreboard with such force that he dislodged the Reds' "CIN" plate, robbing Asche of extra bases and the Phillies of a run.
"One of the best plays I've ever been a part of on a Major League field," Locke said.
Garcia grinds: After Francisco Cervelli singled and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, Phillies reliever Luis Garcia had to deal with a runner in scoring position and just one out. He managed well, though. Garcia walked pinch-hitter Jung Ho Kang, but forced Polanco to ground out and struck out Marte with runners on second and third to keep the game scoreless.
J-Hay saves one: With the speedy Ben Revere on third and Jared Hughes pitching with two outs in the top of the 10th, Jeff Francoeur tapped a slow roller into no-man's-land between the mound and third base. Josh Harrison came charging in, barehanded the ball and fired it to Sean Rodriguez at first base for the run-saving, inning-ending forceout.
Hurdle took it a step further, saying, "It was a game saver."
"As soon as it was hit, I saw Hughes break for it, and I told him, 'I got it. I got it,'" Harrison said. "I had a good read on it and knew I was going to barehand it. I knew if I got it cleanly, I had a shot."
Giles escapes: After Harrison reached on a two-out single back to the mound and a throwing error by reliever Ken Giles in the eighth inning, Pedro Alvarez was intentionally walked. Giles then walked Cervelli to load the bases, and fell behind Mercer, 3-0, but came back to strike him out and strand the bases loaded. More >
"I was excited. Couldn't wait to get out there to Marte and celebrate." -- Stewart, on his slide home to score the game's only run
"They've got to do it, too. You don't find any excuses. You just deal with it." -- Harrison, on playing a 13-inning game delayed more than an hour by rain
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Friday was the first time the Pirates have won a shutout at home in a game of at least 13 innings in more than 100 years. Their last such game was Aug. 29, 1914 against the Dodgers.
There weren't many familiar faces in the Phillies' lineup Locke faced Friday night, but the end result was the same as always. The lefty didn't factor into the decision, but he remained 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.10 in five career starts against Philadelphia.
With Mercer on first base and nobody out in the third inning, Locke dropped a sacrifice bunt that rolled just in front of home plate. Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp picked it up and tried to get the forceout at second, but Mercer beat the tag and Locke beat the throw to first. The Phillies challenged whether Mercer was out at second, and the call stood after a one-minute, 49-second review.
Phillies: Right-hander Sean O'Sullivan looks to turn things around in his ninth start of the season against the Pirates at 4:05 ET on Saturday at PNC Park. O'Sullivan (1-4, 4.96 ERA) has surrendered 14 runs over his last three starts.
Pirates: Right-hander Gerrit Cole, who leads the Majors with a 1.73 ERA and is tied for first with nine wins, will take the mound for Pittsburgh on Saturday. Cole has a chance to become the Majors' first 10-game winner this season. The 24-year-old has made himself into an early candidate for the National League Cy Young Award, having won each of his last four starts while posting a 0.61 ERA during that stretch.
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