PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Odubel Herrera hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night.
Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, Carlos Santana and Maikel Franco each had two hits for the Phillies, who have won nine of 11 overall while improving to 7-1 at home. It is Philadelphia’s best start at home since it won seven of eight to begin the 1981 season.
Luis Garcia (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Hector Neris blanked Pittsburgh in the ninth to earn his third save in four tries.
After Hernandez led off the eighth with a double and Santana grounded out, Herrera lined an 86-mph cutter from George Kontos (1-2) on a 1-2 count just inside the first-base bag to score Hernandez and give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Rhys Hoskins walked to put runners on first and third with one out before as bizarre a double play as you’ll see ended the inning. Kontos had Hoskins picked off, but first baseman Josh Bell threw home to get Herrera, who broke for the plate on the play. Hoskins then lost track of where he was and also was out on a caught stealing double play that was scored 1-3-4-2-5-8-7.
The Pirates threatened in the ninth when Jordy Mercer doubled with one out, but David Freese popped out in the infield and Adam Frazier grounded out.
After a promising 11-3 start, Pittsburgh has dropped four of five.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the sixth. Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch, went to third on Colin Moran’s double and scored on Mercer’s sacrifice fly to right.
Philadelphia tied it in the bottom half when Santana scored on Hoskins’ fielder’s choice grounder to third. Santana reached third on Herrera’s single to right, and Herrera tied a career high on the hit by reaching base safely in 21 straight games.
Ben Lively had his best outing in his fourth start for Philadelphia, allowing a run on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova had similar numbers, giving up a run on five hits in six innings. Nova struck out three and walked none, and has fanned 21 batters against one walk in his last four starts.
Pirates: RHP A.J. Schugel (right shoulder discomfort) will make his next start at Triple-A Indianapolis. Schugel threw a scoreless inning at Single-A Bradenton on Wednesday.
Phillies: Right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two, at Double-A Reading on Friday night. Hunter, who has been sidelined all season with a strained right hamstring, made 20 pitches in his second rehab outing.
Phillies RHP Aaron Nola (1-1, 2.22) opposes Pirates LHP Steven Brault (2-1, 4.74) in the third game of the four-game set Saturday.
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