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Baseball / Sports

Pirates on a roll, produce fourth win in a row

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates scratched out four runs against the Cardinals in a wacky fourth inning on Saturday night that stood by game's end for a 4-3 comeback win.

They did it with a makeshift outfield -- twice slotting infielders into right field -- with a seventh inning streaker delay, and on another night that lacked a quality start from their pitcher.

It was a fourth straight win for the Pirates, whose record crept up to 16-20 with the victory, and insured a series win against their division rival.

The Pirates will close out the weekend series with the Cardinals in an 8:07 p.m. game to be televised on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, a time slot they've not occupied since July 28, 1996.

The Pirates trailed 3-0 in the fourth when the club loaded the bases, then tied the game 3-3 without a single ball leaving the infield.

Pitcher Edinson Volquez and Jose Tabata had RBI groundouts, and Josh Harrison drove in a third run after legging out an infield single on a ball that caromed off of pitcher Lance Lynn's cleat.

Harrison advanced to second on a single by Neil Walker then scored when Pedro Alvarez singled up the middle to make it 4-3.

The Pirates trotted out that interesting outfield after the fourth.

Gaby Sanchez entered the game to bat for Starling Marte, who had left the game with tightness in his back.

Andrew McCutchen was already absent from the lineup, so Harrison shifted to left field, Tabata to center and Sanchez played right field for the first time in his major league career.

Then in the eighth inning, Sanchez was pulled in favor of shortstop Jordy Mercer, who also made his first career appearance there. Clint Barmes entered the game at shortstop.

Volquez left the game in the fifth inning with two outs and the bases loaded, just an out shy of being eligible for the win.

Jared Hughes induced a groundout to end the inning and Volquez finished his night with 4 2/3 innings pitched, giving up four hits, three earned runs, and four walks. He struck out four.

Volquez had a rough second inning, giving up the three runs in on two hits, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, and wild pitch.

Volquez surrendered a single to Adam Craig to open the second, then walked Matt Adams to put two men on.

Mark Ellis singled up the middle to score Craig, before Volquez plunked Peter Bourjos to load the bases.

Tony Cruz grounded into a double play, but a run scored, then Volquez threw a wild pitch with Cardinals starter Lance Lynn up, which scored the third run.

The Pirates, trailed 3-0, and had a chance to get on board in the bottom of the inning when Ike Davis hit a two-out double, Tony Sanchez beat out an infield single, and Mercer walked to load the bases.

But that brought up Volquez, who grounded out to second base.

The Cardinals threatened in the third when Adams crushed a ball that was ruled foul deep over the right field bleachers.

The call stood after a review, and Adams popped up in foul territory. Mercer made a basket catch on the run and flipped over the railing into the stands.

The Pirates got back-to-back singles from Tabata and Harrison to open the third inning.

Tabata moved to third on a fielders choice by Walker but was stranded there when Alvarez popped up in foul territory and Marte grounded out.

Right-hander Charlie Morton (0-4, 3.45 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound against Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller (4-2, 3.20 ERA) on Sunday.

Prior to Sunday's game Disney will be publicizing their new movie "Million Dollar Arm."

The film is based on a true story and follows sports agent JB Bernstein, played by actor Jon Hamm, to India where he hosts a "Million Dollar Arm" reality show competition and discovers Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel who both signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008.

Singh and Hamm will both be at the Pirates game Sunday night. Hamm will be a guest analyst on ESPN for Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown.

(c)2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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