The Times West Virginian

Pirates

August 9, 2012

Walker leads Pirates past Arizona, 7-6

PITTSBURGH — Neil Walker homered and drove in five runs, Kevin Correia won his seventh straight decision and the Pittsburgh Pirates overcame four errors to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Wednesday night.

Walker hit a three-run homer in the first — his career-high 13th of the season — and added a two-run double in the fifth to give Pittsburgh the lead for good. His 65 RBIs lead NL second baseman.

Correia (9-6) was far from sharp in his temporary return to the rotation, but he was good enough to earn a win for the sixth consecutive start. He allowed three earned runs in six innings in his first start since the Pirates removed him from the rotation after they acquired Wandy Rodriguez.

Jordy Mercer hit his first major league home run and rookie Starling Marte homered for the second day in a row for the Pirates, who have the majors’ best home record at 35-17.

Trailing 7-4 heading into the seventh, the Diamondbacks scored a run and loaded the bases on three Pirates errors. Chris Young was called out on strikes, vociferously argued the call with plate umpire Larry Vanover and had to be restrained by Arizona manager Kirk Gibson before leaving the field.

Arizona’s Justin Upton was also ejected during the dispute.

Paul Goldschmidt and Willie Bloomquist had two RBIs each for Arizona, which has lost four of five.

Correia was openly disappointed when he was removed from the rotation and reportedly asked to be traded — he later backed off that claim. He allowed four runs in two innings of his only relief appearance since, and is expected to return to the bullpen.

Ian Kennedy (10-9) was charged with six runs and eight hits in four-plus innings. He had won his four previous starts.

Bloomquist had an RBI single off Chad Qualls in the eighth, but Joel Hanrahan struck out the side in the ninth for his NL-leading 33rd save.

Walker’s homer tied him for the NL lead among second basemen. He finished with five RBIs for the third time in his career and second time this season.

Marte led off the third with his fourth home run in 13 career games, and fellow rookie Mercer opened the sixth with a high home run down the left-field line that made it 7-4.

A night after scoring seven runs in the eighth and ninth for a 10-4 victory, the Diamondbacks pulled to within two with a run each in the seventh and eighth.

NOTES: The Diamondbacks used a lineup without regulars Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel, but both entered the game after the ejections of Young and Upton. ... A steady rain — accompanied by lightning — began during the seventh inning, but the game was never delayed. ... Before the game, the Pirates recalled LHP Jeff Locke from Triple-A and optioned OF Alex Presley to the minors. Locke was summoned for insurance against a bullpen that was shortened by the Correia spot start. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said the team wanted to get Presley, the team’s opening day left fielder, some regular at bats. ... Diamondbacks C Henry Blanco underwent successful surgery in Phoenix on Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is likely out for the season. ... Arizona’s Joe Saunders (5-8, 3.57) faces Rodriguez (7-10, 3.82) in a matchup of left-handers in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.

 

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