PITTSBURGH- Tony Sanchez's tiebreaking single scored Starling Marte in the bottom of the seventh to give the Pittsburgh Pirates the lead for good and the Pirates edged Baltimore 9-8 on Wednesday night.
Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 4 with an RBI and his first two extra-base hits in more than two weeks for Pittsburgh, which won for only the third time in its past nine games. Marte and Ike Davis had three hits and two RBIs apiece for the Pirates.
Bryan Morris (4-0) earned the victory after allowing the Orioles to tie the game in the top of the seventh. Mark Melancon worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
AP Photo/Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison (5) dashes home to score as Baltimore catcher Caleb Joseph waits for the relay throw in the first inning of a game on Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Nelson Cruz hit his 14th homer of the season and drove in three runs for the Orioles. Nick Markakis, Chris Davis and JJ Hardy had two hits and one RBI apiece but Baltimore left 10 men on base and Ryan Webb (2-1) allowed Sanchez's sharp single to right in the seventh shortly after the Orioles had rallied to tie the game.
Pittsburgh began the night eight games under .500 in part because of a struggling starting staff that has hardly looked like the group that led the team to the postseason last fall.
Things didn't get much better, but the bullpen briefly recaptured its touch.
Reliever Vin Mazzaro's steady hand out of the bullpen played in stark contrast to the mess made by Pittsburgh starter Wandy Rodriguez.
The veteran left-hander has struggled with his command and his conviction all season and did little to convince manager Clint Hurdle he was ready to turn the corner despite being spotted a 4-0 first-inning lead thanks in part to a two-run triple by Marte.
The 35-year-old Rodriguez, in the final year of his contract, promptly gave the big lead away as Cruz led off the second a blistering solo home run and added a two-run double later in the inning to put the Orioles in front.
Rodriguez's throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Chris Tillman meant he was only charged with one earned run for his 1 2-3 innings of work, dropping his ERA from 6.84 to 6.75.
Tillman couldn't take advantage of the reprieve. Coming off a shutout win over Kansas City in his previous start, Tillman only managed to get three outs.
He failed to retire a batter in the second as the first six Pittsburgh batters reached base. Brad Brach came on in relief to get out of the inning, but not until after the Orioles trailed 8-6.
Baltimore scrambled to tie it in the seventh off Morris but the Pirates responded quickly. Marte led off the seventh with a bunt hit, moved to third on a single by Davis and scored when Sanchez sent a Webb offering to right.
Reds 2, Nationals 1
WASHINGTON (AP) - Alfredo Simon settled down after a rough start and came back after a 61-minute rain delay to win his sixth game, allowing one run over seven innings.
Simon gave up a leadoff homer to Denard Span in the first, worked out of a jam in the second, then allowed only three more baserunners as the Reds finished a road trip by taking two of three from Washington.
Simon (6-2) threw two innings after the storm that interrupted the game for just over an hour. Jonathan Broxton handled the eighth, and Aroldis Chapman pitched a one-two-three ninth for his third save, hitting 103 mph on the stadium's radar gun on a pitch while striking out Danny Espinosa.
Brewers 6, Braves 1
ATLANTA (AP) - Mark Reynolds hit a first-inning grand slam, Kyle Lohse combined with Francisco Rodriguez on a five-hitter and the Brewers ended a four-game losing streak.
Cardinals 3, D-Backs 2, 12 innings
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Arizona shortstop Chris Owings threw wildly to the plate on a bases-loaded grounder in the 12th inning, allowing Matt Holliday to score the winning run for St. Louis.
Marlins 14, Phillies 5
MIAMI (AP) - Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to help power the Miami Marlins past Philadelphia.
Dodgers 4, Mets 3
NEW YORK (AP) - Adrian Gonzalez homered for the third straight game, Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back shots and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated New York.
Giants 5, Rockies 1
DENVER (AP) - Hunter Pence hit one of San Francisco's three solo homers and reliever Yusmeiro Petit threw three sharp innings after starter Matt Cain left with a strained right hamstring as the Giants beat Colorado.
Yankees 4, Cubs 2, 13 Innings
CHICAGO (AP) - Brendan Ryan scored on a wild pitch before John Ryan Murphy capped a two-run 13th inning with an RBI single, and New York beat the Cubs after Chicago wasted another dominant start by Jeff Samardzija.
Twins 2, Padres 0
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Phil Hughes threw seven shutout innings and Trevor Plouffee homered in a Minnesota victory.