Arizona at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
Arizona000000000061
Pittsburgh «11000010x391

Pirates 3, Diamondbacks 0

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Maybe it was the frustration of not pitching in the majors like he had in the minors. Or maybe Ian Snell disliked being compared negatively to Zach Duke, the Pirates' other top pitching prospect.

Whatever it was, it finally clicked for Snell four starts ago and he has been a very effective pitcher since.

Snell, pitching like the top prospect he is supposed to be, limited Arizona to five hits over seven innings and Ronny Paulino hit his first career home run in Pittsburgh's 3-0 victory over the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

"His fastball gets on you a little bit," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He was using his breaking ball, a cutter, a little backdoor slider to lefties and down some down-and-in curveballs. They pitched better than we did, and we didn't swing the bat very well."

The Pirates reached the double-digit victory mark in their 34th game, leaving Kansas City and Florida as the only teams in the majors with fewer than 10 victories.

While the last-place Pirates are running out of time to make anything of what is quickly becoming their 14th consecutive losing season, the 24-year-old Snell (2-2) seems to be settling in as one of the NL's best young starters. The right-hander was in control from the start, never allowing a runner past second base while striking out five and walking one in a dominating performance.

"He made pitches in good spots," Luis Gonzalez said of Snell, who was 58-20 in the minors from 2000-05. "It was more of a frustrating night for us offensively. We felt we were seeing him pretty well."

Snell didn't have as many strikeouts as he did in his previous two starts, when he struck out 16 in 12 2/3 innings -- nine in 5 2/3 innings in his most recent start, against the Mets. But he didn't need them on a night he kept the ball down and permitted only one ball to leave the infield in his final four innings.

"It's starting to come around," Snell said.

Snell and Duke were considered the Pirates' top minor league prospects at this time a year ago, but Duke had much more success (8-2, 1.81 ERA) than Snell (1-2, 5.14 ERA) did after they were called up around midseason. Snell also struggled in his first three starts this season, yielding 16 earned runs in 15 innings.

Snell has since given up only five runs in four starts, including a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on April 28 in which he pitched seven shutout innings.

"I didn't change anything," Snell said. "I've just been mixing my pitches up more, throwing more offspeed pitches. And it got around that I was a fastball pitcher and now it's like, 'Oh, well, maybe he's not a fastball pitcher."'

Freddy Sanchez, getting an infrequent start at shortstop with Jack Wilson out with a sore hamstring, added a run-scoring double to support Snell.

Paulino homered in the second inning, his first in 47 career at-bats, as the Pirates took a 2-0 lead against Miguel Batista (3-2). Paulino missed a second homer by inches when his drive in the seventh hit the top of the padded wall in right field and bounded back into play for a double. Paulino scored a batter later on pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit's double.

"I'm excited," said Paulino, a rookie catcher who exchanged two bats and a signed baseball for his first home run ball. "I hit it pretty good. The second one I hit really good."

Roberto Hernandez pitched a scoreless eighth inning and Mike Gonzalez completed the six-hitter for his fourth save in as many opportunities.

Batista, a one-time Pirates Rule Five draft pick who made his major league debut with them in 1992, gave up three runs and eight hits over seven innings.

Notes

Arizona lost its second in a row after winning seven straight. ... The Pirates are 7-7 at home but 3-17 on the road. ... Duke had the Pirates' only other shutout this season, an 8-0 victory over the Cubs on May 2. ... Snell failed to allow a run in the first inning for the second time in seven starts. ... Jeromy Burnitz ended an 0-for-19 slide with a double in the sixth. Until then, he was 2-for-25 against Batista. .... Batista is 2-5 against Pittsburgh.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

I. Snell
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 5
Pittsburgh

R. Paulino
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, SS4010011 .319
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000012 .229
Chad Tracy, 3B3010112 .295
Luis Gonzalez, LF4020001 .258
Tony Clark, 1B4000014 .149
Shawn Green, RF4010002 .319
Johnny Estrada, C4000013 .298
Eric Byrnes, CF2000110 .288
Miguel Batista, P1010000 .200
   a- Andy Green, PH1000000 .286
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
Totals310602615 
a-grounded out for Batista in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chad Tracy (11, Snell), Shawn Green (5, Snell)
SH - Miguel Batista (2)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Hudson-Counsell-Clark
E - Orlando Hudson (1, throwing error)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Miguel Batista (L,3-2) 7833161 5.05
Brandon Medders 1100120 3.60
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 104-70, Brandon Medders 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 7-7
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 29, Brandon Medders 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Jose Bautista, 3B3010110 .429
Nate McLouth, CF4110014 .194
Freddy Sanchez, SS3011110 .288
Jason Bay, LF4010011 .254
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4010013 .193
Craig Wilson, 1B4000023 .255
Ronny Paulino, C4221002 .280
Jose Castillo, 2B3010001 .221
Ian Snell, P2000011 .000
   a- Ryan Doumit, PH1011000 .273
    Oliver Perez, PR0000000 .143
    Roberto Hernandez, P0000000 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
Totals323932815 
a-doubled for Snell in the 7th
Batting
2B - Freddy Sanchez (6, Batista), Jeromy Burnitz (3, Batista), Ronny Paulino (2, Batista), Ryan Doumit (3, Batista)
HR - Ronny Paulino (1, Batista)
RBI - Freddy Sanchez (12), Ronny Paulino (2), Ryan Doumit (6)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Castillo-F. Sanchez-C. Wilson
E - Jose Castillo (3, missed catch)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell (W,2-2) 7500150 4.65
Roberto Hernandez (H,4) 1000000 2.51
Mike Gonzalez (S,4) 1100110 2.19
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 95-60, Roberto Hernandez 6-6, Mike Gonzalez 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 9-6, Roberto Hernandez 3-0, Mike Gonzalez 1-1
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 26, Roberto Hernandez 3, Mike Gonzalez 5
Game Information
Attendance - 16961
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Larry Young, Third Base - Mike Everitt