Replay gives Bucs 9th-inning victory
PITTSBURGH – Expanded instant replay has a new fan in Starling Marte.
At least, that is, when the Pittsburgh Pirates are on the right side of it.
The speedy outfielder was called out, then ruled safe on a replay review with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Pirates over San Francisco 2-1 Tuesday night and ending the Giants’ six-game winning streak.
It was 1-all when Marte tripled off the right-field wall against Tim Hudson. Marte slid into third, got up and bolted home when the relay from second baseman Ehire Adrianza skipped by third baseman Pablo Sandoval for an error.
Sandoval recovered to throw home and plate umpire Quinn Wolcott initially ruled Marte was tagged by San Francisco catcher Buster Posey. A brief review showed Marte’s right hand touched the plate before Posey’s glove swiped Marte’s chest.
Marte joked he likes replay “sometimes” but never doubted which way the call would go one the umpires took a longer look.
“I know I was safe,” Marte said. “It was just about waiting for the umpire to make the decision.”
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle raced out of the dugout to challenge the call. He wasn’t sure at the time whether Marte was safe for not, but figured Marte deserved the benefit of the doubt.
“It’s an aggressive play,” Hurdle said. “We continue to talk about being aggressive. We can’t use the safety brakes.”
A night after rallying from a six-run deficit to win a five-hour, 13-inning marathon, the Giants were stunned when Marte’s drive and Adrianza’s miscue ruined an otherwise spectacular effort from Hudson (4-2).
The veteran right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in 8 2/3 innings, striking out five and walking one. The only Pirate to advance past second base over the final seven innings was Marte.
“Replay is going to provide the final conclusion,” Hudson said. “It is what it is and you’ve got to accept it. But it’s frustrating to be to the end of a call that cost you the ballgame. I’ve seen calls that were closer than that but weren’t overturned.”
Tony Watson (3-0) worked around two singles in the ninth to earn the win. Marte scored both Pittsburgh runs and Ike Davis added two hits as the Pirates won for just the fourth time in their last 13 games.
Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton pitched eight sparkling innings, giving up one unearned run and three hits, walking two and striking out three.
“The pitches he made to the top four hitters, they’re as good as I’ve seen him make,” Hurdle said. “He had those guys, there were some hard at-bats. There was good pitching. He hit his spots, changed his speed.”
Both teams were looking for length out of their starters after San Francisco’s 11-10 the night before left their bullpens taxed.
Going deep into games hasn’t been a problem for Hudson, who worked with his typical efficiency while giving the relievers some needed down time.
The 38-year-old has thrown at least seven innings in all seven of his starts this season. He had little trouble getting through eight innings, keeping the Pirates off-balance with his typically impeccable control.
Marte reached on an infield single with one out in the second and moved to third on a single just inside the first-base bag by Davis before scoring on a groundout by Tony Sanchez.
San Francisco’s only run came in the second as Sanchez’s throwing issues from behind the plate resurfaced.
Brandon Belt hit a leadoff single, stole second and moved to third when Sanchez’s throw sailed into shallow center field. Belt scored on Adrianza’s sacrifice fly.