PITTSBURGH (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit a leadoff homer in the ninth inning, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-3 in a wild ending Monday.
McCutchen sent a 1-1 pitch from Archie Bradley (1-1) over the right field wall to cap off a back-and-forth ninth. It was the eighth homer this season for McCutchen, who was recently dropped to sixth in the batting order for the first time in his career.
Diamondbacks pinch hitter Chris Iannetta tied the game moments earlier with a two-run homer to left field off closer Tony Watson. Watson (4-1) was credited with the win after blowing his third save in 13 opportunities.
It was a costly victory for the Pirates, as starting right fielder Gregory Polanco left the game with an injury. Polanco got his right ankle caught awkwardly in the railing separating the stands from the playing field while chasing down a foul ball in the sixth inning.
Backup catcher Chris Stewart put the Pirates ahead in the seventh. Stewart, an 11-year veteran known mostly for his defensive ability, hadn’t driven in a run all the season when he came to the plate with Jose Osuna and McCutchen on base in a tie game.
Facing reliever J.J. Hoover, Stewart drove a ball into the left-center gap for two runs and ended up with just the second triple of his career. Stewart had to leave the game after his hit with what appeared to be a left leg injury.
Osuna replaced Polanco in the field and started the Pirates’ rally in the seventh with a leadoff double.
Arizona starter Randall Delgado struck out a season-high eight over his 5 2/3 innings. Delgado was filling in for the injured Taijuan Walker. He had his longest appearance of the year in terms of innings and pitches thrown (92).
Pirates starter Trevor Williams gave up one run and four hits while striking out three in his six innings.
David Peralta opened the scoring for Arizona in the first. He was hit by a pitch and came home on Yasmany Tomas’ single to left. The Pirates tied it in the fourth when Jordy Mercer tripled and Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (testicular cancer) said he felt good after making his first minor league rehab start on Sunday. He’s expected to throw a bullpen session Tuesday before determining where and when his next rehab start will be.
Diamondbacks: Walker will throw in a simulated game Tuesday in Pittsburgh as he attempts to return from a blister on his right index finger. If all goes well, Walker could be removed from the disabled list and rejoin the rotation afterward, but the Diamondbacks will still need one more spot start before Walker takes his turn.
Pirates RHP Ivan Nova (5-3, 2.83 ERA) will look to win in three straight starts for the first time since 2015 when he was with the New York Yankees. The Diamondbacks will counter with LHP Robbie Ray (4-3, 3.45), who has also won two consecutive starts. Ray has never won three in a row.
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