Apr 24, 2016 11:06 PM
Left In: P Miller plays OF while Pirates beat D-backs in 13
The Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) Sean Rodriguez lined a double over the head of Arizona left fielder Shelby Miller to drive in the go-ahead run.
Wait. Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks' No. 2 starter, out in left late in a game?
Sure was. And that was only a small part of the wackiness at Chase Field on Sunday.
"Top-five crazy," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said after the Pirates held off the Diamondbacks 12-10 in 13 innings on Sunday.
A game that started like a blowout quickly devolved into a what-will-happen-next series of blown leads, clutch hits and desperation.
The Pirates led by five runs after three innings and blew two-run leads in the ninth and 12th, setting up a back-and-forth of bizarre-but-necessary moves involving pitchers.
Zack Greinke, Arizona's starter on Monday, came in to pinch hit and lined a single during Arizona's 12th inning rally. He was replaced by Miller, who scored a run as a pinch-runner.
Miller had to stay in the game after shortstop Nick Ahmed was ejected for arguing a called third strike, becoming the first Diamondbacks pitcher to play a position and first major leaguer since Jason Gurka played right field for the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 15, according to STATS.
Miller had a hard time tracking down Rodriguez's double off Evan Marshall (0-1) in the 13th, though the run was going to score anyway.
Pittsburgh turned to a pitcher after Rodriguez's hit, sending out Jonathon Niese, scheduled starter Wednesday against Colorado. He came through, too, battling through a nine-pitch at-bat to line a run-scoring single to left that gave the Pirates two-run lead.
The game ended with Arquimedes Caminero striking Patrick Corbin, another starting pitcher-turned-pinch-hitter, and Miller for his first career save.
"Really this whole series, some weird stuff went on," said Pirates left-hander Kyle Lobstein, who pitched scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th. "At the same time, we still battled. We had some things that didn't go our way, had some bad luck, but we persevered at the end. That's what it's all about."
The Pirates had a season-high 20 hits and were up 8-3 through three innings after roughing up Robbie Ray.
Arizona rallied by scoring twice in the eighth and Paul Goldschmidt tied it in the ninth with a two-run homer, his second of the game.
Pittsburgh scored twice in the 12th to go up 10-8, but Neftali Feliz (1-0) couldn't hold that lead.
The Diamondbacks scored two runs off him in the inning but failed to get the winning run in despite having a runner on third with one out.
"The opportunities were in front of us," Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. "To get to the point where we think we can be at some point this year, those are spots that we're going to welcome the pressure. Right now I think we are letting the pressure kind of overwhelm us. "
Arizona's Welington Castillo hit a three-run homer on his 29th birthday, giving him six homers and 11 RBIs the past seven games. Yasmany Tomas also homered for the Diamondbacks, who had 15 hits.
Arizona's pitchers had 17 strikeouts, second-most in team history at Chase Field. ... Pittsburgh's Mark Melancon had his streak of consecutive saves snapped at 18 after giving up the two-run homer to Goldschmidt in the ninth. ... Castillo became the eighth Diamondbacks player to homer on his birthday, and first since Justin Upton on Aug. 25, 2012 against San Diego. ... Pirates starter Francisco Liriano allowed four runs on five hits with six strikeouts in six innings. ... Goldschmidt had a rare off day on defense with the first two-error game of his career. One came on a squibber by Liriano in the second inning, the other while trying to throw home in the fourth.
Pirates: INF Jung Ho Kang, who is recovering from knee surgery, got his first hit in 15 at-bats for Triple-A Indianapolis.
Diamondbacks: RHP Josh Collmenter (shoulder) will throw in extended spring training this week and is scheduled to go three innings at Class A Visalia on May 2. He could be back for Arizona's next road trip.
Pirates: LHP Jeff Locke will try for his first win of the season in his fourth start when the Pirates open a four-game series against Colorado on Monday.
Diamondbacks: RHP Greinke, Monday's starter against St. Louis, is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA his past two starts after a rough debut with Arizona.