Pittsburgh at Los Angeles

Final 10th
L.A. Angels
W: M. Melancon (2-1) L: K. Jepsen (0-2)
HR: PIT - P. Alvarez (19)   LAA - None

Pirates batter Angels' bullpen for comeback victory

CBSSports.com wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Pedro Alvarez homered for the fourth straight game, Starling Marte capped a three-run ninth inning with a tying single, and the Pittsburgh Pirates added four more in the 10th to beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-9 on Sunday and complete their first interleague sweep on the road.

Trailing 6-3 entering the ninth, the Pirates pulled even against closer Ernesto Frieri -- his second blown save in 19 attempts.

The right-hander issued a leadoff walk to Neil Walker, ending his string of 22 consecutive batters retired, then gave up a single to Gaby Sanchez and a one-out grounder by pinch-hitter Andrew McCutchen that scored Walker. Next came a pinch-hit RBI double by Russell Martin over the head of rookie left fielder J.B. Shuck, followed by Marte's clutch hit.

Martin also had an RBI single in the 10th. Alvarez led off that inning against Kevin Jepsen (0-2) with a double over the head of center fielder Mike Trout, who had shifted over from left after an injury to Peter Bourjos.

A pair of one-out walks, one of them intentional to Walker, loaded the bases and brought up Travis Snider. He promptly lined a single to left that bounced over Shuck's head for an error and all the way to the fence as all three runners scored.

Mark Melancon (2-1) pitched a perfect inning for the win.

Jason Grilli closed it out despite giving up five hits, including RBI singles by Alberto Callaspo, Shuck and Brendan Harris. The right-hander finally ended it by striking out Trout with the potential tying and winning runs at third and second.

Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton was charged with six runs -- three earned -- and four hits through 5 2/3 innings in his third start of the season. The right-hander missed the first 65 games while recovering from elbow surgery last June.

Pirates catcher Tony Sanchez, the team's No. 1 draft pick in 2009, went 1 for 4 in his major-league debut -- as the designated hitter. His first time up he hit a ground-rule double that struck the 18-foot wall in right field halfway up and became wedged at the bottom of the out-of-town scoreboard. The ball remained there until the end of the half-inning, when a maintenance worker climbed a ladder and plucked it out before giving it to Pirates right fielder Garrett Jones.

Angels starter Joe Blanton, who is 1-10, allowed three runs -- one earned -- and six hits in 7 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out six, walked none and retired his last 14 batters.

For the third straight game, Alvarez homered his first time up after tagging Jered Weaver on Friday and Jerome Williams on Saturday.

The Angels pulled ahead 5-1 in the second, parlaying errors by second baseman Walker and third baseman Alvarez into five runs -- three of which were unearned.

Pittsburgh came back with a pair of unearned runs in the third, cutting the margin to 5-3.

Bourjos hurt his left thumb on a takeout slide and came out of the game. Newly acquired Brad Hawpe entered in right as the Angeles shuffled outfielders and then drove in the team's sixth run with a two-out single in the fourth.


  • Albert Pujols grounded out with the bases loaded, making him 1 for 9 in those situations this season.
  • Blanton is 0-12 with six no-decisions in the last 18 games in which he's allowed a home run.
  • Pittsburgh's only other three-game sweeps against AL clubs were at home against the White Sox in 1997, the Indians in 2001, and the Royals last June.
  • Sanchez is one of eight first-round picks on Pittsburgh's 25-man roster.
  • Angel Stadium was the site of Morton's major-league debut on June 14, 2008, when he pitched for Atlanta and won 9-4.
  • Pirates RHP Duke Welker made his big-league debut with a perfect eighth inning.
  • A home run Tuesday night in Seattle would make Alvarez the first Pirates batter to connect in five straight games since Jose Castillo in May 2006. Alvarez moved up from fifth to third in the batting order with McCutchen and Martin out of the starting lineup.
  • Pirates LHP Jeff Locke puts his NL-best 2.01 ERA on the line in the opener of the two-game set at Safeco Field.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Pirates closer Jason Grilli gives up three runs on five hits in the 10th, but hangs on to preserve the win. (USATSI)
Pirates closer Jason Grilli gives up three runs on five hits in the 10th, but hangs on to preserve the win. (USATSI)

Players of the Game

P. Alvarez
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1
Los Angeles

J. Shuck
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Pittsburgh Pirates
Starling Marte, CF-LF6121012 .278
Jordy Mercer, SS-2B6000004 .282
Pedro Alvarez, 3B5221011 .237
Garrett Jones, RF3100010 .259
    Brandon Inge, PH-RF1000010 .191
Neil Walker, 2B3220200 .251
Gaby Sanchez, 1B4121111 .245
Travis Snider, LF-RF5111015 .238
Tony Sanchez, DH3010000 .333
    Andrew McCutchen, PH-DH-CF2111000 .289
Michael McKenry, C3000012 .202
    Russell Martin, PH-C2122000 .257
a-struck out for G. Jones in the 8th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Melancon in the 10th
c-hit into fielder's choice for T. Sanchez in the 9th
d-doubled for McKenry in the 9th
2B - Starling Marte (12, Blanton), Pedro Alvarez (8, Jepsen), Neil Walker (10, Blanton), Tony Sanchez (1, Blanton), Russell Martin (14, Frieri)
HR - Pedro Alvarez (19, Blanton)
SH - Clint Barmes (5)
RBI - Starling Marte (22), Pedro Alvarez (51), Gaby Sanchez (23), Travis Snider (22), Andrew McCutchen (38), Russell Martin 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Starling Marte (10), Pedro Alvarez (19), Gaby Sanchez (10), Russell Martin (10)
Team LOB - 7
E - Pedro Alvarez (14, Misplayed grounder), Jordy Mercer (4, Throwing), Neil Walker (6, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
Charlie Morton 5.2463550 2.81
Ryan Reid 1.1000010 1.50
Duke Welker 1000010 0.00
Mark Melancon (W,2-1) 1000010 0.96
Jason Grilli 1533020 1.82
HBP - Trout (by Ryan Reid)
Pitches-Strikes - Charlie Morton 99-57, Ryan Reid 16-10, Duke Welker 17-10, Mark Melancon 7-5, Jason Grilli 28-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charlie Morton 11-3, Ryan Reid 2-1, Duke Welker 1-1
Batters Faced - Charlie Morton 28, Ryan Reid 5, Duke Welker 3, Mark Melancon 3, Jason Grilli 8
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
Peter Bourjos, CF1000100 .331
    Brad Hawpe, RF1011100 .273
    Brendan Harris, PH-1B2011010 .226
Mike Trout, LF-CF5001013 .306
Albert Pujols, DH5000004 .258
Mark Trumbo, 1B-RF5000020 .253
Howie Kendrick, 2B4210100 .323
Alberto Callaspo, 3B5221011 .269
Erick Aybar, SS5220020 .273
Chris Iannetta, C4101030 .206
    Hank Conger, PH1000002 .253
J.B. Shuck, RF-LF3222200 .290
a-struck out for Hamilton in the 9th
b-flied out for Iannetta in the 10th
3B - Howie Kendrick (3, Grilli)
RBI - Brad Hawpe (1), Brendan Harris (7), Mike Trout (46), Alberto Callaspo (27), Chris Iannetta (24), J.B. Shuck 2 (15)
2-OUT RBI - Brad Hawpe (1), Brendan Harris (4), J.B. Shuck (11)
SB - Mike Trout (18, 2nd base off Morton/McKenry), J.B. Shuck 2 (2, 2nd base off Morton/McKenry, 2nd base off Morton/McKenry)
Team LOB - 8
E - Howie Kendrick (9, Misplayed grounder), J.B. Shuck (1, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
Joe Blanton 7.1631061 5.26
Scott Downs (H,14) 0.2000010 1.74
Ernesto Frieri (BS,2) 0.2333100 3.31
Kevin Jepsen (L,0-2) 0.2244200 5.17
Dane De La Rosa 0.2200000 3.51
IBB - Walker by Kevin Jepsen
WP - Joe Blanton (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 98-65, Scott Downs 15-10, Ernesto Frieri 31-19, Kevin Jepsen 25-14, Dane De La Rosa 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 11-6, Scott Downs 1-0, Ernesto Frieri 1-1, Kevin Jepsen 2-0, Dane De La Rosa 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 29, Scott Downs 2, Ernesto Frieri 6, Kevin Jepsen 6, Dane De La Rosa 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35069
Game Time - 3:55
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Cory Blaser, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Ed Hickox, Third Base - Jim Joyce