Arizona catcher Tuffy Gosewich scored the winning run on a potential double play ball in the bottom of the tenth inning on Sunday, lifting the Diamondbacks to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates and to a 2-2 split in the teams’ four-game series in Phoenix.
The attempt to end the inning with a double play appeared to be affected by Arizona baserunner Nick Ahmed who broke up the twin-killing with a slide into second base. The Pirates claimed Ahmed had interfered with the play by swatting at the throw by new Pittsburgh second baseman Jayson Nix, but the umpires refused to order a replay or to reconsider the call, and the game ended.
The controversial play followed a double by Gosewich, a walk to Ahmed, and a wild pitch by losing pitcher Mark Melancon (1-3) which moved Gosewich to third base.
The Pirates (59-52) had taken an early lead on an RBI on a ground ball out by Michael Martinez. Trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning, the Bucs tied the game on a sacrifice fly by Andrew McCutchen, who then left the game with “discomfort in his left side.” McCutchen will be re-evaluated early this week.
Martinez, Josh Harrison, Gregory Polanco and Ike Davis each had two hits for Pittsburgh, but Arizona reliever Evan Marshall (4-2) earned the win.
The Pirates had won the second and third games of the series by manufacturing large late-inning rallies. On Saturday night, they turned around a 1-1 game by scoring four times in the eighth inning and three more times in the ninth for an 8-3 victory. Harrison homered, doubled and singled. McCutchen, Russell Martin and Brent Morel each recorded two hits. Morel drove in three runs, and Martin finished with two RBI’s. Reliever Jared Hughes (6-2) was credited with the win.
On Friday night, the Pirates trailed 4-1 before scoring three runs in the eighth inning and adding five more in the ninth frame for a 9-4 win. Harrison, McCutchen and Jordy Mercer each recorded two hits. Pedro Alvarez and Travis Snider both knocked home a pair of runs. Tony Watson (8-1) earned the win and tied starter Edinson Volquez for most victories on the team this season.
The Pirates closed the 10-game road trip at 5-5, and trail Milwaukee by a game-and-a-half in the National League Central Division. After an off-day Monday, the Bucs will begin a three-game home series against Miami (54-57) on Tuesday night.