Baseball / Sports

Pirates prevail over Marlins, 8-6, in 13 innings

MIAMI -- What with all the attention paid to Gregory Polanco during the past six months, his first major league homer might have lacked the appropriate gravitas had hit it during the fourth inning of some random game. Friday's occasion seemed appropriate.

Polanco's first career home run gave the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-6 win in 13 innings over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park Friday, a game the Pirates had all but locked up until the bullpen gave it back in the ninth.

Clint Barmes singled off lefty Mike Dunn in the 13th before Polanco hit a 2-2 slider into the seats in right-center field. It was part of Polanco's 5 for 7 performance at the plate in his fourth major league game.

After Jeff Locke didn't walk a batter four eight innings, three Pirates relievers issued six walks -- one intentional to load the bases -- in the ninth that allowed the Marlins to score four runs and tie the game.

Justin Wilson inherited a four-run lead in the ninth inning but walked two batters. Jason Grilli entered and walked another batter before giving an RBI groundout to Ed Lucas. He walked one more batter before Reed Johnson hit a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch.

Grilli intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton, who was a triple shy of the cycle in the game, to load the bases for Casey McGehee, and manager Clint Hurdle brought in Mark Melancon. Melancon had McGehee down in the count 0-2, but walked him to drive in the tying run.

Starling Marte homered and tied a career high with four hits and Andrew McCutchen continued his offensive tear. Marte added a stolen base and Polanco a diving catch.

Meanwhile, Jeff Locke pitched a career-high eight innings and kept the Marlins on the ground.

Polanco led off the game with a single, giving him a hit in his first four career games. Marte followed by driving a 1-0 fastball into the Clevelander club in left field for his fifth home run.

Marte beat out an infield single to deep shortstop in the third and stole second. He got a late jump on McCutchen's single to shallow left, but third-base coach Nick Leyva waved Marte home. The throw from Reed Johnson, who had taken over in left field after Christian Yelich left the game because of a lower back strain, fell well short and the Pirates led, 3-1.

The Pirates forced Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi from the game in the fifth. After Polanco and Marte both singled and moved to scoring position on a fly ball and a wild pitch, Ike Davis' double to the right-field corner scored them both. Jordy Mercer singled to score Davis and give the Pirates a 6-2 lead.

Locke held the Marlins, whose 22-11 record at home was the best in the majors entering the game and whose .279 average at Marlins Park ranked third, in check. He located his fastball on the inside of the plate against right-handers and disrupted hitters' timing with an effective changeup.

Locke allowed two runs on seven hits in eight innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out seven, throwing 101 pitches in the process.

(c)2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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