HEADLINE

Pirates eye chance to split 4-game set with Diamondbacks

Field Level Media

August 11, 2022 at 7:07 am.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are fresh off a rare win over the Arizona Diamondbacks and now look to gain a split when they wrap up a four-game series at Phoenix on Thursday.

Pittsburgh’s 6-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday was just their seventh in the past 28 games versus Arizona.

Ben Gamel drove in three runs and Kevin Newman had three hits in Pittsburgh’s victory. Rodolfo Castro added two hits and Tucupita Marcano and Greg Allen each drove in a run.

Castro’s productive game came one night after his cellphone flew out of his pocket as he slid headfirst into third base. Castro apologized for the incident, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton said there were no ill intentions.

“You stay around the game and you see things you haven’t seen before,” Shelton told reporters. “This was just a kid who made a mistake. It’s just one of those things we move forward from and tell him, ‘You can’t do that.'”

Tuesday was Castro’s first game back with Pittsburgh after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. He is batting .205 in 23 games with the Pirates this season.

Alek Thomas had two hits and scored twice for the Diamondbacks, who had won three straight games prior to Wednesday’s loss.

Arizona sabotaged a ninth-inning comeback attempt with base-running shenanigans.

Carson Kelly came up with the bases loaded and none out and hit a liner that Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes fielded on the short hop and turned into a rare double play. Pinch-runner Sergio Alcantara was forced out at second and with the force off, Emmanuel Rivera was caught between second and third and was forced back to second on the rundown and tagged out.

Daulton Varsho scored on the play, but the double play took away the momentum.

“I’ve never seen anything like that happen before,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said afterward, “but everybody on this field will probably live and learn through that.”

Eric Stout then entered for the Pirates and retired pinch-hitter Jordan Luplow on a fly to right for his first career save.

Stout appeared in his seventh game for Pittsburgh since being purchased from the Chicago Cubs in June. Before making two appearances for the Cubs this season, his three previous big league outings were for the Kansas City Royals in 2018.

“I’m ready for anything,” Stout said in a postgame television interview. “I’m glad they trusted me to get the last out. It was a cool moment.”

Red-hot Diamondbacks right-hander Merrill Kelly (10-5, 2.86 ERA) will start the finale.

Kelly is 4-0 with a 1.49 ERA over his last seven starts. He has allowed two or fewer runs in each of those outings.

Kelly, the National League Pitcher of the Month for July, has issued just three walks in 28 innings over his past four starts. He received a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday when he gave up two runs and seven hits over seven innings. The 33-year-old struck out five and walked one.

Kelly beat the Pirates on June 3 when he gave up three runs (two earned) and five hits over five innings. Overall, he is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts versus Pittsburgh.

The Pirates will counter with right-hander JT Brubaker (2-10, 4.49).

Brubaker, 28, is 0-3 with a 5.13 ERA over his last five starts. He lost to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday when he gave up three runs and eight hits over four innings.

Brubaker lost against Kelly on June 3 when he gave up six runs (five earned) and eight hits over four-plus innings in his first career start versus Arizona.

Thomas, Ketel Marte and Christian Walker each homered against Brubaker.