PITTSBURGH -- Bases loaded, nobody out, the infield is in, the outfield is in. A fly ball wins it, so does a softly hit ground ball. There's almost no way a team can lose in this situation.
Johnny Estrada's pinch-hit single drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th and the Diamondbacks halted a five-game losing streak despite squandering a four-run lead, rallying to beat Pittsburgh 5-4 Monday for the Pirates' fifth loss in a row.
The Pirates, losing their sixth in a seven-game homestand, loaded the bases with none out in the 10th, then had the potential winning run on third with one out in the 10th and couldn't score either time against reliever Greg Aquino (2-0).
"That game's in our hands," Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson said. "It's frustrating. You figures some kind of bounce is going to go your way."
The Pirates loaded the bases in the ninth on singles by Wilson and Sean Casey and Jason Bay's intentional walk. But Aquino struck out Jeromy Burnitz, Freddy Sanchez and Jose Castillo, all on pitches in or near the dirt.
"I saw two sliders for strikes," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "The rest were balls in the dirt. We didn't show good patience there. The onus isn't on the hitter there, it's on the pitcher. You have everything in your favor there."
An inning later, Ronny Paulino doubled and reached third with one out, but Aquino retired Jose Bautista and Wilson.
Right then, a fan stood up in the upper deck and yelled, "No team can be this bad."
The Pirates are -- they take a 26-45 record into Kansas City for an interleague series starting Tuesday that matched the worst teams in the NL and AL. The Royals are a major league-worst 19-49.
"It seems like every time we lose, it's a one-run game," Bautista said, pointing to the Pirates' 7-21 record in one-run games.
After winning a game they probably should have lost, the Diamondbacks were glad they returned to Pittsburgh to make up a May 11 rainout. That day, manager Bob Melvin was unhappy the Pirates didn't wait longer before calling the game off, since it forced his team to make a side trip between series at Texas and Tampa Bay.
"Any time there's a win, it's worth the flight," Melvin said.
By winning, the Diamondbacks avoided falling to .500 for the first time since early May. They were 34-22 and had won 10 of 13 just before former pitcher Jason Grimsley's house was searched by federal agents investigating steroid use by athletes, but had won only once in 13 games since.
"This was a huge game for us," Melvin said. "To end up losing one like that, after we had a 4-0 lead and after what we've been going through, coming in here for one game, it really could have been a devastating loss."
The Diamondbacks, scoreless since a four-run fourth, took the lead on consecutive one-out singles in the 11th by Orlando Hudson, Chris Snyder and Estrada off Salomon Torres (2-3). Jorge Julio pitched the 11th for his fifth save in as many opportunities.
"I was up there trying to do what I could to get that run in and get us out of here," Estrada said. "Those are the kind of wins that can catapult a team, and hopefully we can put a streak together."
The Diamondbacks had opened the 4-0 lead against Zach Duke on doubles by Eric Byrnes and Scott Hairston, three Duke walks and Chris Snyder's two-run single.
Bautista cut it to 4-2 with his eighth homer, a two-run drive in the fifth that represented the only runs off starter Claudio Vargas in six innings. Reliever Brandon Lyon took the 4-2 lead into the eighth, but Burnitz led off with his 11th homer, and Sanchez doubled and scored the tying run on Paulino's single.
|Scott Hairston makes a great effort in the tenth inning but comes up short and loses his glove. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Eric Byrnes, CF||6||1||3||0||0||1||0||.294|
|Scott Hairston, LF||4||1||2||1||1||0||1||.500|
|Andy Green, LF||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.240|
|Chad Tracy, 3B||6||0||2||0||0||3||5||.274|
|Conor Jackson, 1B||3||1||0||0||1||0||2||.267|
|Tony Clark, 1B||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.185|
|Damion Easley, SS||5||0||0||0||0||2||6||.245|
|Shawn Green, RF||4||1||0||0||1||0||0||.300|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||1||1||1||1||0||0||.259|
|Chris Snyder, C||5||0||3||2||0||0||0||.292|
|Claudio Vargas, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||3||.130|
|a- Jeff DaVanon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Luis Vizcaino, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Randy Choate, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brandon Lyon, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Luis Gonzalez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.264|
|Greg Aquino, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Johnny Estrada, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.312|
|Jorge Julio, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out-bunting for Vargas in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Lyon in the 9th|
|c-singled for Aquino in the 11th|
|2B - Eric Byrnes 2 (17, Duke, Duke), Scott Hairston (1, Duke)|
|RBI - Scott Hairston (1), Orlando Hudson (20), Chris Snyder 2 (19), Johnny Estrada (39)|
|2-OUT RBI - Orlando Hudson (8), Chris Snyder 2 (7)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Luis Vizcaino (H,15)||0.2||0||0||0||1||1||0||3.34|
|Brandon Lyon (BS,3)||1.1||3||2||2||0||1||1||4.83|
|Greg Aquino (W,2-0)||2||3||0||0||1||3||0||5.32|
|Jorge Julio (S,5)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||3.62|
|IBB - Bay by Greg Aquino|
|HBP - F. Sanchez (by Claudio Vargas), Casey (by Randy Choate)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Claudio Vargas 102-67, Luis Vizcaino 12-7, Randy Choate 8-4, Brandon Lyon 14-10, Greg Aquino 27-15, Jorge Julio 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Claudio Vargas 2-10, Brandon Lyon 1-2, Greg Aquino 2-1, Jorge Julio 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Claudio Vargas 26, Luis Vizcaino 3, Randy Choate 1, Brandon Lyon 7, Greg Aquino 10, Jorge Julio 3|
|Jose Bautista, CF||6||1||1||2||0||3||3||.231|
|Jack Wilson, SS||6||0||1||0||0||0||2||.280|
|Sean Casey, 1B||4||0||2||0||1||0||0||.295|
|Jason Bay, LF||5||0||1||0||1||2||4||.300|
|Jeromy Burnitz, RF||6||1||2||1||0||3||3||.238|
|Freddy Sanchez, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||1||5||.353|
|Jose Castillo, 2B||5||0||0||0||0||2||8||.283|
|Salomon Torres, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Damaso Marte, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ronny Paulino, C||4||1||2||1||1||1||2||.315|
|Zach Duke, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.233|
|a- Nate McLouth, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.220|
|John Grabow, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Joe Randa, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.221|
|Matt Capps, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- Craig Wilson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.272|
|Roberto Hernandez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Jose Hernandez, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.183|
|a-flied out for Duke in the 5th|
|b-walked for Grabow in the 7th|
|c-flied out for Capps in the 8th|
|2B - Sean Casey (10, Vargas), Freddy Sanchez 2 (20, Vargas, Lyon), Ronny Paulino (9, Aquino)|
|HR - Jose Bautista (8, Vargas), Jeromy Burnitz (11, Lyon)|
|SH - Jose Hernandez (1)|
|RBI - Jose Bautista 2 (20), Jeromy Burnitz (32), Ronny Paulino (15)|
|Team LOB - 13|
|Outfield Assists - Jose Bautista 1|
|DP - J. Wilson-Castillo-Casey, F. Sanchez-J. Wilson-Castillo|
|E - Freddy Sanchez (5, Misplayed grounder)|
|Salomon Torres (L,2-3)||1.2||5||1||1||1||2||0||4.30|
|Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 75-44, John Grabow 23-14, Matt Capps 9-6, Roberto Hernandez 12-6, Salomon Torres 25-14, Damaso Marte 4-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 6-5, John Grabow 3-2, Matt Capps 1-1, Roberto Hernandez 1-2, Salomon Torres 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Zach Duke 23, John Grabow 7, Matt Capps 3, Roberto Hernandez 3, Salomon Torres 11, Damaso Marte 1|
|Attendance - 15032|
|Game Time - 3:34|
|Temperature - 74|
|Umpires - Home - Chad Fairchild, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Larry Young|