Russell Martin scored Josh Harrison with a walkoff pinch-hit single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning on Thursday afternoon, and the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a 9-2 homestand and a three-game sweep of the Miami Marlins with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
The win was the 70th of the year for Pittsburgh (70-44), while the Marlins (43-70) lost for the 70th time. The Pirates grabbed a four-game lead in the National League Central Division when the St. Louis Cardinals lost a 5-1 Thursday night contest to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Miami took a 4-0 lead off Pittsburgh rookie starter Gerrit Cole with an RBI double by Giancarlo Stanton and a run-scoring single by Placido Polanco in the top of the first inning, and the first Major League home run by Christian Yelich, a two-run shot in the fifth frame.
Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez singled home runs for the Bucs in the bottom of the fifth, cutting Miami’s lead in half. The Pirates tied the score in the seventh inning on a pair of bases-loaded sacrifice fly outs by Walker and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez.
Jared Hughes (2-2; 4.42 ERA) earned the win as Pittsburgh’s fifth pitcher of the game. Steve Ames (0-1; 3.00 ERA) took the loss.
After a slow start, the Pirates finished with 12 hits, including three by Walker, two by Starling Marte, and a pinch-hit single by Andrew McCutchen, who had been scratched as a starter due to “discomfort” in his right shoulder. Yelich tallied 3 of the Marlins’ nine hits, while Polanco and Joe Mathis finished with two apiece.
Now that the long homestand has ended, the Pirates will take to the road for three games against the Colorado Rockies and three more against the Cardinals. In the opener against the Rockies (52-64) in Denver on Friday night, the Bucs will start Francisco Liriano (12-4; 2.02) against Jorge de la Rosa (10-6; 3.31 ERA).