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Arizona (88-69)0100000405130
Pittsburgh (67-90) «20000031x6100

Pirates snap nine-game losing streak, nip Diamondbacks

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- The late-inning comeback was exceptional, coming on the road in a tight NL West race during the final week of the season. The Arizona Diamondbacks' only problem was they couldn't finish it.

Pinch-hitter Josh Phelps singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth after Pittsburgh blew a four-run lead in the top of the inning, and the Pirates halted a nine-game losing streak by beating the Diamondbacks 6-5 on Tuesday night.

Arizona lost its second in a row after winning four straight and its NL West lead was cut to two games over second-place San Diego, which rallied with two outs in the ninth for a 6-4 victory at San Francisco.

"This is a tough loss, to come back like we did, a bunch of guys got a lot of big hits. It's a tough one," Eric Byrnes said. "This team has a lot of fight in it. It impresses me every night."

The Diamondbacks trailed 5-1 going into the eighth but scored four runs against three relievers to tie it. Chris Snyder's RBI double off Romulo Sanchez led to pinch-hitter Conor Jackson's two-run single and Stephen Drew's tying single, with those two hits against John Grabow.

"We battled back beautifully. Iit's a shame," manager Bob Melvin said. "I really felt like we were in a good position to win that game."

After Byrnes grounded out with runners on first and third to end the rally, Adam LaRoche doubled with one out in the bottom half and Phelps, in a 3-for-25 slump, singled between third and short against Brandon Lyon (6-4), Arizona's sixth pitcher.

Phelps balked LaRoche to third ahead of the single, but it is likely LaRoche would have scored even if he had been on second.

"I wasn't thinking about the balk," Lyon said. "I'm trying to keep the score tied."

Arizona, starting a six-game trip, is attempting to win its fourth division title in 10 seasons.

"I said this before, we're going to have to win this thing," Byrnes said. "Teams aren't going to give it to us. But the good thing is we still do have that lead."

Salomon Torres (2-4) got the victory by getting the final out. Matt Capps finished with a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 21 chances, and his first since giving up Scott Hairston's three-run homer in the ninth that rallied San Diego past Pittsburgh 5-3 last Wednesday.

"The last nine days have been very difficult for us," Pirates manager Jim Tracy said. "And we're going to try to come after them again tomorrow."

The Pirates avoided their second double-digit losing streak in as many seasons under Tracy. They had a modern-era club record 13-game losing streak in June 2006. Poor finishes are nothing new for the Pirates, who took what became an eight-game losing streak into the final week of last season but ended it by winning their final two games.

Ian Snell, making his final start of the season, limited Arizona to one run over six innings by stranding seven runners but did not figure in the decision.

Snell complained recently of having a slightly sore arm and, after pitching a career-high 208 innings, will be skipped over for what would have been his final start of the season Sunday. The right-hander allowed only six earned runs in 33 innings over five starts in September, a 1.64 ERA, giving up one run or no runs four times, and has a 3.76 ERA for the season despite a 9-12 record.

"There's nobody to blame -- baseball's a difficult game," said Snell, who is so encouraged by his season that he will ask his agent to seek a multiyear contract from Pittsburgh. "We play hard every day. This team's lost a lot of close games this year."

The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the first as leadoff hitter Nyjer Morgan hit his first career homer, off Doug Davis, and Jose Bautista doubled and scored on a double play. Arizona's only run off Snell came on Augie Ojeda's two-out RBI single in the second. Ojeda reached base four times.

The score stayed 2-1 until the Pirates scored three runs in the seventh. Cesar Izturis hit a run-scoring double following two walks by reliever Tony Pena, and pinch-hitter Nate McLouth had a two-run single off Bill Murphy.

The Pirates halted the slide hours after hiring Neal Huntington as general manager.

Notes

  • Davis failed to win for a fourth consecutive start, giving up two runs and five hits in five innings. He has a 7.27 ERA since beating San Diego 9-1 on Sept. 4.
  • The Pirates, 36-40 at home, must sweep this six-game homestand to finish above .500 in PNC Park.
  • Freddy Sanchez went 1-for-2 against Davis to finish 5-for-6 against him this season. Sanchez is 16-for-32 against him in his career. He left in the seventh with blurry vision.
  • Arizona is 4-3 against Pittsburgh this season.
  • Phelps has a .308 average (8-for-26) with eight RBI as a pinch-hitter.
 
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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Pinch-hitter Josh Phelps knocks in the go-ahead run to hand the D-Backs their second straight loss.  (AP)
Pinch-hitter Josh Phelps knocks in the go-ahead run to hand the D-Backs their second straight loss. (AP)

Players of the Game
Pittsburgh

N. Morgan
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Arizona

C. Jackson
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF5010022 .239
Stephen Drew, SS5021001 .230
Eric Byrnes, LF5010014 .289
Tony Clark, 1B4220121 .254
Mark Reynolds, 3B4010123 .283
Jeff Salazar, RF3020002 .282
   a- Justin Upton, PH-RF2110000 .231
Chris Snyder, C4111014 .259
Augie Ojeda, 2B1111300 .267
Doug Davis, P2000003 .069
   b- Jeff Cirillo, PH1000012 .255
    Dustin Nippert, P0000000 .000
    Tony Pena, P0000000 .250
    Bill Murphy, P0000000 .000
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
   c- Miguel Montero, PH0000000 .228
   d- Conor Jackson, PH1012000 .281
    Emilio Bonifacio, PR0000000 .222
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
Totals37513559  
a-singled for Salazar in the 8th
b-struck out for Davis in the 6th
c-announced for Medders in the 8th
d-singled for Montero in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Snyder (20, R. Sanchez)
RBI - Stephen Drew (56), Chris Snyder (47), Augie Ojeda (10), Conor Jackson 2 (57)
2-OUT RBI - Stephen Drew (21), Augie Ojeda (3)
SB - Eric Byrnes (48, 2nd base off Snell/Paulino)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Reynolds-Ojeda-Clark, Ojeda-Drew-Clark
Arizona Diamondbacks
Doug Davis 5522021 4.25
Dustin Nippert 1100030 5.44
Tony Pena 0.1133200 3.33
Bill Murphy0100100 5.79
Brandon Medders 0.2000000 4.34
Brandon Lyon (L,6-4) 1211010 2.75
Pitches-Strikes - Doug Davis 69-41, Dustin Nippert 24-16, Tony Pena 17-7, Bill Murphy 10-3, Brandon Medders 10-5, Brandon Lyon 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Davis 10-1, Tony Pena 1-0
Batters Faced - Doug Davis 18, Dustin Nippert 4, Tony Pena 4, Bill Murphy 2, Brandon Medders 2, Brandon Lyon 5
Pittsburgh Pirates
Nyjer Morgan, CF3121100 .279
Jose Bautista, 3B4110013 .259
Freddy Sanchez, 2B3010011 .304
   a- Jose Castillo, PH-2B1000002 .237
Xavier Nady, LF-RF4010021 .282
Adam LaRoche, 1B4110021 .272
Ronny Paulino, C3100102 .258
Steve Pearce, RF2110100 .296
    Damaso Marte, P0000000 .000
    Romulo Sanchez, P0000000 .000
    John Grabow, P0000000 .000
    Salomon Torres, P0000000 .000
   b- Josh Phelps, PH1011000 .303
    Matt Capps, P00000001.000
Cesar Izturis, SS4111002 .255
Ian Snell, P2000000 .088
    Franquelis Osoria, P0000000 .000
   c- Nate McLouth, PH-LF1012000 .259
Totals32610536  
a-flied out for F. Sanchez in the 7th
b-singled for Torres in the 8th
c-singled for Osoria in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jose Bautista (35, Davis), Adam LaRoche (38, Lyon), Cesar Izturis (14, Pena)
HR - Nyjer Morgan (1, Davis)
RBI - Nyjer Morgan (5), Josh Phelps (31), Cesar Izturis (15), Nate McLouth 2 (37)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Phelps (17)
SB - Nyjer Morgan (7, 2nd base off Nippert/Snyder), Nate McLouth (22, 2nd base off Murphy/Snyder)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Izturis-F. Sanchez-LaRoche, Izturis-F. Sanchez-LaRoche, Izturis-F. Sanchez-LaRoche
Pittsburgh Pirates
Ian Snell 6711460 3.76
Franquelis Osoria (H,4) 1100000 4.23
Damaso Marte 0.1111010 2.40
Romulo Sanchez0233100 4.30
John Grabow (BS,1) 0.1200000 3.86
Salomon Torres (W,2-4) 0.1000000 5.55
Matt Capps (S,18) 1000020 2.34
Pitches-Strikes - Ian Snell 99-57, Franquelis Osoria 6-4, Damaso Marte 9-6, Romulo Sanchez 10-5, John Grabow 10-7, Salomon Torres 7-5, Matt Capps 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ian Snell 4-6, Franquelis Osoria 1-1, Salomon Torres 1-0
Batters Faced - Ian Snell 27, Franquelis Osoria 3, Damaso Marte 2, Romulo Sanchez 3, John Grabow 3, Salomon Torres 1, Matt Capps 3
Game Information
Attendance - 14569
Game Time - 3:07
Temperature - 84
Umpires - Home - Dana DeMuth, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Larry Vanover