D-backs arise in late innings
PHOENIX — Emmanuel Rivera homered and hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to help blow open a close game, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3 on Thursday.
Rivera started the season with Kansas City before being traded to Arizona at the deadline for right-hander Luke Weaver. Rivera, who homered in his third game with the Diamondbacks, added a solo shot off JT Brubaker in the fourth inning Thursday.
“We’re still in that stage where we’re going to continue to work with him and guide him, push him in the right direction, but it was awfully nice that he had some success today,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “There were some key moments and he was the right guy in the right spot.”
Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Arizona tied it on Alek Thomas’ bases-loaded groundout off Chase De Jong (4-1). Rivera followed with his double off Yerry De Los Santos and Daulton Varsho hit a three-run double high off the wall in center to put Arizona up 8-3.
Rivera added a double in the eighth inning to finish 3 for 4.
“I feel like I’ve been here years now and I’m adapting myself very well with the teammates on the team,” Rivera said through a translator.
Kevin Ginkel (1-0) got two outs in the seventh inning for his first win since 2019.
Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly had been sharp recently, going 4-0 with a 1.49 ERA his previous seven starts.
The Pirates scored three runs off the right-hander in the fourth inning on two softly hit balls.
Ke’Bryan Hayes scored from third base Tucpita Marcano’s grounder, sliding just under the tag when Arizona first baseman Christian Walker threw home. The play was upheld after a long review.
Greg Allen followed with a run-scoring bloop single and Marcano came all the way around from first when Allen was caught in a rundown. Allen made it back to first base when Walker threw to second and had no one behind him.
“We scored because we ran the bases really well. We paid attention,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “Marcano made a really nice read going there, and then (Allen) did a nice job when Walker vacated. So, we ran the bases really well. It’s just after that, we couldn’t get much going.”
Kelly allowed three runs on four hits in five innings.
Rodolfo Castro left his phone in the clubhouse, brought his bat to the field and helped the Pirates beat the Diamondbacks 6-4 on Wednesday night.
Castro had two hits one night after an embarrassing smartphone faux pas. The 23-year-old mistakenly left his phone in the back pocket of his baseball pants during Tuesday’s game, and it came flying out on a headfirst slide into third.
“Like we talked about, he made a mistake,” Shelton said. “Good at-bats today, played good defense, drove the ball, ran the bases well — so it’s nice to see. When we have young kids, they do things.
“But I’m pretty sure we won’t do that again — ever.”