PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates went through two managers and a pair of 12-inning games in three days before finally ending a record-tying home losing streak.
Humberto Cota singled home the winning run in the 12th, and the Pirates overcame Tony Clark's two homers and five RBI to end a 10-game home losing streak with an 8-7 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
"This feels really good, because we didn't want to break that record," Cota said.
The Pirates lost 10 in a row at home for only the second time in their 119-season history and the first time since 1968. Their first victory in Pete Mackanin's three games as interim manager since replacing the fired Lloyd McClendon also ended a six-game overall losing streak.
"Hopefully, this relaxes everyone and we can start playing better ball," Mackanin said.
With a 56-83 record, they can't play much worse.
Pittsburgh was within two outs of losing following Clark's second homer, a three-run go-ahead drive in the ninth, when Jason Bay hit a tying two-run shot -- his 26th -- in the bottom of the inning off Tim Worrell. Worrell blew his third save in four opportunities.
In the top of the inning, Jose Mesa blew his third consecutive save opportunity by giving up Clark's 25th homer. Clark also hit a two-run drive in the first off Josh Fogg during his 17th career multihomer game.
"The goal is to shake hands at the end of the day," Clark said of his big day in a losing cause. "If it's a 5-for-5 that does it or a 0-for-5, it doesn't matter."
After the Pirates couldn't score with the bases loaded in the 11th, Rob Mackowiak singled off Buddy Groom (0-1), Arizona's seventh pitcher, to start the 12th and moved up on Freddy Sanchez's sacrifice bunt. Cota, who doubled in a run in the eighth, then singled to center to give Pittsburgh its first home victory since Aug. 23.
"It's good to finally win a game -- it seems like it's a lot longer than it's actually been," Bay said.
The Pirates came back from deficits of 2-0, 4-3, and 7-5. Rick White (4-6) pitched a scoreless 12th for the victory.
"We've got to find a way to win that game," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "We had a lot of opportunities to win that game, more opportunities than they did."
Right-hander Dustin Nippert made his major-league debut for Arizona 14 months after having reconstructive elbow surgery, but couldn't hold a 2-0 lead supplied by Clark's first homer. Nippert, who had a Double-A Southern League-best 2.38 ERA at Tennessee before being promoted, allowed three runs and five hits in five innings.
Nippert had a chance for the win, which would have delighted the estimated 200 fans in attendance from his nearby hamlet of Beallsville, Ohio -- almost half the village's population of 443.
"They brought three or four school buses," Nippert said. "But, hey, it's not that big of a town."
Nippert was lifted after five innings because of a torn fingernail on his right index finger that prevented him from properly gripping his curve ball. He left with a 4-3 lead following Luis Terrero's two-run homer on the first pitch thrown by reliever Brian Meadows in the sixth, but Craig Wilson's homer off reliever Greg Aquino tied it in the bottom of the sixth.
Wilson's homer was his second of the season and his first since May 3 during an injury-interrupted season in which he has twice spent long stretches on the disabled list with hand injuries. He had a team-high 29 homers last season.
Nippert had to persevere just to get to the majors. He and twin brother, Derik, also a pitcher in Arizona's farm system, were involved in serious auto accident in 1999. Four years later, Nippert developed a large tumor on the back of his right shoulder, but it proved to be benign. He had the elbow operation last year.
- The Pirates had lost 11 of 12.
- Fogg has allowed 27 homers in 28 starts. He left after Chad Tracy singled off his right hand in the sixth, but an MRI exam didn't reveal any injury.
- Diamondbacks OF Luis Gonzalez was expected to miss a second consecutive game with flu-like symptoms, but entered in the ninth during a double switch.
- Nippert has allowed only 10 homers in four pro seasons.
- Nippert's mother, a school aide, sold 100 tickets to the game herself.
- The Diamondbacks won 4-2 in 12 innings Monday night.