Pittsburgh Downs Arizona, 5-4
PHOENIX — The Pittsburgh Pirates had what looked like an out turn into a home run. They made a couple of questionable decisions, endured some nerve-wracking moments in the ninth inning.
But they’re leaving Arizona with a win, which is all that really matters. Everything else can wait.
Jordy Mercer homered and had three RBIs, Jameson Taillon pitched seven effective innings and the Pirates avoided a sweep with a 5-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
“We won. Let’s get on a plane and go home,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We can peel back the layers later.”
The Pirates blew a five-run lead in the opener and were knocked for 13 runs in the second game. Pittsburgh ended Arizona’s sweep bid with a four-run second inning against Zack Greinke (5-5) and a sterling performance by Taillon (4-5).
Taillon gave up a two-run homer to David Peralta in the first inning when the ball popped out of left fielder Austin Meadows’ glove and over the wall. Taillon got better as the game went along, working out of a jam in the second inning and allowing two runs on six hits to help end Arizona’s five-game winning streak.
Felipe Vazquez gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Jon Jay in the ninth before striking out Jake Lamb with the bases loaded for his 12th save.
“When you run into a team that’s pesky with two strikes, they’re tough to put away,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “You’re going to run into some situations when you make mistakes.”
Taillon has enjoyed pitching in the afternoon, entering Wednesday’s game 8-2, including 3-0 on the road before the sun goes down.
He got an unfortunate break in the first inning, when Peralta’s deep shot caromed out of Meadows’ glove as he leaped near the wall.
Taillon struck out Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded to end the second inning and struck out four.
“It was a weird start, but I felt really good,” Taillon said. “I kind of had that mindset, like let’s see if I could get my pitch count right through six.”
Greinke has been dominant at Chase Field the past two seasons, going 16-1 with 2.53 ERA at Chase Field since 2017.
Arizona’s ace struggled with his command against the Pirates, walking four while striking out seven. Greinke walked two in Pittsburgh’s four-run second inning, giving up a two-run double to Mercer and a run-scoring double to Josh Bell. Mercer hit a solo homer in the fourth to put Pittsburgh up 5-2.
Greinke was lifted after walking two in the fifth to load the bases with two outs. He allowed five runs on five hits and struck out seven.
“I felt good, but every time I put a pitch over the plate, they hit it good,” said Greinke, who had not lost at Chase Field since last Aug. 9 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “As long as I’m able to make good pitches it’s fine, but I wasn’t able to do that every time.”
One of the things the Pirates will look at when they get home is Meadows’ miscue that led to Peralta’s home run. He leaped to catch the ball just before colliding with the wall, but the ball appeared to carom out before contact was made.
“I haven’t said anything to him; we’ll show him the video,” Hurdle said. “There’s room to go get the ball and it kind of looked like it was the fence or he drifted on the ball, there was hesitation. He had time to get under that ball or at least get to it quicker.”
Arizona reinstated C Jeff Mathis from paternity leave and optioned RHP Braden Shipley to Triple-A Reno. Mathis’ wife, Jenna, gave birth to their second daughter on Sunday.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli returned to the lineup after missing three games while being monitored for post-concussion symptoms. He was struck on the mask by a foul ball Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (strained right oblique) is expected to throw about 50 pitches in his rehab start with Single-A Visalia on Thursday.
The Pirates have a day off before right-hander Chad Kuhl the Cincinnati Reds Friday at home. Kuhl is 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA in four career starts against the Reds.
Arizona RHP Matt Koch is 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA his past three starts heading into Thursday’s game against the New York Mets.
Padres 4, Cardinals 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Eric Lauer carried a shutout into the sixth inning, Manuel Margot had three hits and the San Diego Padres beat the St. Louis Cardinals night to win their fifth straight series.
Freddy Galvis drove in two first-inning runs for San Diego, which has won five of seven. The Padres hadn’t won five consecutive series since 2010.
Marlins 5, Giants 4
MIAMI (AP) — Brian Anderson hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to lift the Miami Marlins over the San Francisco Giants.
J.T. Realmuto had two hits and scored twice for the Marlins, who have won three straight for the first time since winning four in a row April 28-May 1.
Rockies 7, Phillies 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in a five-run fourth inning, Tyler Anderson pitched seven strong innings and the Colorado Rockies routed the Philadelphia Phillies to end a five-game losing streak.
Trevor Story added three hits and drove in two for the Rockies, who had dropped nine of 11 while falling from first place to fourth in the NL West.
Brewers 1, Cuba 0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Lorenzo Cain homered and Jhoulys Chacin combined with three relievers on a six-hitter to give the Milwaukee Brewers their second straight shutout of the Chicago Cubs.
Chacin (6-1) allowed four hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking four to win his sixth consecutive decision.
Braves 2, Mets 0
ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Soroka did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman homered and drove in both runs, and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets.
Soroka, the youngest pitcher in the major leagues and one of baseball’s top prospects, returned from a right shoulder strain that sidelined him since May 17 to outpitch NL ERA leader Jacob deGrom in a game that lasted only 2 hours, 12 minutes.
White Sox 3, Indians 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Dylan Covey carried a shutout into the eighth inning, continuing his impressive June and helping the Chicago White Sox beat Trevor Bauer and the Cleveland Indians.
Covey (3-1) allowed 10 hits — all singles — and walked none. The 26-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from Oakland in the 2016 Rule 5 draft, improved to 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in five starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte last month.
Tigers 5, Twins 2
DETROIT (AP) — Victor Reyes’s RBI single keyed a four-run eighth inning and the Detroit Tigers rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins.
The Tigers, playing their first game since Miguel Cabrera’s season-ending biceps injury, won for just the fourth time in 11 games.
Mariners 8, Angels 6
SEATTLE (AP) — Mitch Haniger hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Seattle Mariners a victory and sweep of the three-game series over the Los Angeles Angels.
After Jean Segura singled to center off reliever Oliver Drake (0-1), Haniger launched his 16th homer of the season over the left-field wall to finish off the sweep.
Red Sox 5, Orioles 1
BALTIMORE (AP) — Chris Sale took a two-hitter into the seventh inning before being ejected, and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the skidding Baltimore Orioles with a victory.
After issuing two walks to open the seventh in a 5-0 game, Sale (6-4) was lifted by manager Alex Cora. As he was making his way to the dugout, the left-hander yelled at home plate umpire Brian Knight and was promptly ejected.
Rays 1, Blue Jays 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Matt Duffy’s RBI single with two outs in the ninth drove in the game’s only run in the Tampa Bay Rays’ win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Duffy drove in Mallex Smith, who doubled with one out and moved to third base on a ground ball.
Diego Castillo (1-0) got his first major league win after pitching two innings of relief.
Nationals 5, Yankees 4
NEW YORK (AP) — Teenage rookie Juan Soto homered twice and drove in four runs, becoming the youngest player in 29 years to go deep in a regular-season game at Yankee Stadium, and the Washington Nationals beat New York.
After getting a game off Tuesday, his first in three-plus weeks as a major leaguer, a refreshed Soto showed exactly why he was rated one of baseball’s best prospects.