The Times West Virginian

Pirates

August 8, 2012

Johnson’s homers lead Diamondbacks over Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Chris Johnson homered in the eighth and ninth innings Tuesday night, giving him five in eight games since being acquired in a trade, to rally the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 10-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Johnson’s homer in the eighth carried far over the fence in center field and capped a four-run rally against Jason Grilli (1-4) that put Arizona ahead 7-4. Pittsburgh had just taken a 4-3 lead with two runs in the seventh.

Miguel Montero doubled in a run in the ninth before Johnson hit a two-run homer off Chris Resop to seal the victory for Arizona, which had lost three straight.

Johnson was acquired July 27 in a trade with Houston, where had eight homers in 92 games.

The Pirates lost for the third time in five games.

Paul Goldschmidt, who doubled twice, and Stephen Drew both had three of the Diamondbacks’ 15 hits. Drew homered and drove in two runs.

Brad Ziegler (5-1), who faced one batter and induced an inning-ending double play in the seventh inning, got the win and J.J. Putz worked the ninth in a non-save situation.

Travis Snider had three hits for the Pirates and Andrew McCutchen, who leads the major leagues with a .372 batting average, had two hits and two RBIs. Rookie Starling Marte his hit third home run in 12 games since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and making his major-league debut June 26.

Grilli failed to retire any of the four batters he faced after being called on to hold a 4-3 lead that the Pirates took by scoring twice in the seventh inning. His ERA jumped to 2.66 from 1.77.

Goldschmidt lined a double to right field on the first pitch of the eighth inning , took third on Justin Upton’s bloop single to center and scored the tying run on Montero’s single to right.

Johnson then hit a 1-0 pitch to put Arizona ahead 7-4.

Marte hit a leadoff home run in the seventh inning off Takashi Saito to draw the Pirates even at 3-3. The Pirates then pulled in front on Neil Walker’s sacrifice fly.

Drew almost singlehandedly put Arizona ahead 3-2 by the fourth inning as he had hits in his first three at-bats.

He singled to lead off the game and scored on Goldschmidt’s two-out single. Drew hit a solo home run, his second, in the third before breaking a 2-2 tie with an RBI single in the fourth.

Drew came into the game hitting just .202 in 29 games since missing nearly the first three months of the season recovering from last season’s broken ankle.

McCutchen drove in the Pirates’ first two runs with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and a single in the third that made it 2-2.

Both starters pitched six innings. Arizona rookie Patrick Corbin gave up two runs and six hits in six innings while striking out seven and walking three. Pittsburgh’s Jeff Karstens allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings with four strikeouts and no walks.

Corbin, a left-hander, pitched six shutout innings last Wednesday against the Dodgers in Los Angeles after being recalled from Triple-A Reno. This is his third stint in the major leagues this season.

Karstens had allowed only one earned run in 21 innings in his first three home starts this season.

Notes: Arizona backup C Henry Blanco is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. Blanco was injured Sunday at Philadelphia when the Phillies’ John Mayberry Jr. slid into his mitt on a play at home plate. ... Pittsburgh RHP Juan Cruz, who has been on the DL since July 18 with right shoulder inflammation, is tentatively scheduled to make a second injury rehabilitation appearance Thursday with Double-A Altoona. Cruz retired one of the five batters he faced Monday night while pitching for Altoona against Bowie in the Eastern League. ... Pirates RHP Kevin Correia (8-6, 4.49), who was removed from the starting rotation two weeks ago when LHP Wandy Rodriguez was acquired from Houston in a trade despite winning five straight starts, will make a spot start Wednesday night against Diamondbacks RHP Ian Kennedy (10-8, 4.15). ... Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle has decided to give his starters an extra day of rest with his club in a stretch of playing 20 games in as many days. ... NASCAR driver Kurt Busch threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

 

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