Home runs off Pirate relievers are costly
By Alan Saunders
The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH — Carson Kelly and Pavin Smith hit solo home runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks came back against the Pirates’ bullpen for a 5-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Kelly’s homer came in the seventh against Pittsburgh reliever Anthony Banda (2-1) to give the Diamondbacks the lead for good.
Smith’s solo shot came off Nick Mears in the sixth to start the rally. Christian Walker then walked and scored on a David Peralta single and two-base Gregory Polanco error.
“Pavin got us off the mat with that majestic home run,” Diamondbacks manger Torey Lovullo said. “That got us on the board and gave a little life to everybody.”
Smith walked to lead off the eighth, Josh VanMeter singled and Peralta drove them both in with a double to left off Kyle Keller. Peralta finished with three hits and two RBIs.
“Today was the David Peralta show,” Lovullo said. “He really carried us offensively.”
Arizona starter Tyler Gilbert worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out four.
“Five Arizona receivers combined to keep the Pirates off the board, including Brett de Geus (3-2) and Tyler Clippard worked around a leadoff double in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.
Pirates starter Bryse Wilson pitched five scoreless innings in his return from the injured list. Wilson tied a season high with seven strikeouts and needed just 74 pitches. He gave up just two hits after he had missed 10 days with right arm fatigue.
Pittsburgh took an early lead on a Jacob Stallings sacrifice fly in the fourth and a Michael Chavis RBI double in the fifth.
Pittsburgh won the first two games of the series against Arizona, but has yet to secure a sweep this season. The Pirates fell to 0-11 in games in which they could have secured a series sweep this season.
“It’s frustrating because we had the lead and kind of gave it back a little bit, then didn’t execute late,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “As well as our bullpen has pitched, we got ahead of guys and just didn’t finish ’em off. And because we didn’t finish ’em off, we got into counts where there was walks and extra runs.”
The bottom four
The Pirates, Diamondbacks, Baltimore and Texas currently have the four worst records in baseball, with the Orioles owning the worst mark despite winning Wednesday night. Arizona has the second worst mark with the Rangers third and the Pirates at No. 4
Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly has been cleared to resume work, but is expected to have a lengthy building-up process and remains on the COVID-19 injured list.
Pirates: RHP JT Brubaker was placed on the 10-day IL with a right thumb contusion suffered during his first at-bat on Tuesday night. … LHP Sam Howard (right oblique strain) will have at least one more rehab appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis before returning. … Top prospect Henry Davis needs an MRI to grade his right oblique strain, which could be season-ending.
Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (1-7, 4.59 ERA) will start a four-game series tonight in Philadelphia as Arizona continues a 10-game road swing. The Diamondbacks are 16-49 away from home this season. Arizona caushed problems for the Phillies recently at home by winning a series against Philadelphia.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (4-10, 6.5) starts tonight at home against St. Louis. The Pirates took two of three against the Cardinals Aug. 20-22, including Keller’s first win since May 29.