Pirates hold off Angels to complete sweepJun 24, 2013 - 12:33 AM Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Travis Snider's tie-breaking single highlighted a four-run 10th inning and a furious late comeback that gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a wild 10-9 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and a three-game series sweep.
The Pirates trailed 6-3 entering their final at-bat, but struck for three runs against Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the top of the ninth before battering the Anaheim bullpen again in the 10th en route to the franchise's first-ever sweep of an interleague set on the road.
"To finish the way we did, very strong, was a good team victory," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "To sweep a series on the road gives you addded confidence."
Three runs came home on Snider's bases-loaded hit off Kevin Jepsen (0-2), with the ball getting by Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck for an error that put the Bucs up 9-6 before Russell Martin's RBI single extended the lead.
The Angels didn't go down quietly in the bottom of the inning, however, stringing together three runs and five hits against Jason Grilli before the majors' saves leader struck out Mike Trout with the tying run on third and the winning run on second.
Pedro Alvarez began the 10th-inning uprising with a double and had a solo homer -- his fourth in as many games -- while Martin and Starling Marte each came up with clutch RBI hits in the ninth to help Pittsburgh to its fourth consecutive win overall.
Shuck finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and scored twice at the plate, with Alberto Callaspo adding two hits and an RBI for the Angels, who squandered an early 5-1 lead that denied Joe Blanton an elusive second win of the season.
Blanton had held the Pirates to three runs -- one earned -- while striking out six without a walk over 7 1/3 effective innings. The right-hander retired the last 14 batters he faced.
"Our bullpen has been doing a great job, but today it didn't happen," said Blanton. "We kept fighting, but didn't pull it out."
Frieri entered the top of the ninth with his team holding a 6-3 lead and a streak of 22 consecutive batters retired, a stretch that ended when he walked Neil Walker to begin the inning. Gaby Sanchez followed with a single that placed runners at the corners, with Walker crossing the plate on Andrew McCutchen's fielders choice that had Pittsburgh down to its final out.
Martin kept hope alive by ripping a pinch-hit double off the left-field wall that knocked in McCutchen, then beat Shuck's throw home after Marte singled to left to tie the contest at six.
"That's how we are," said Martin. "We kept our same approach and kept battling."
After Mark Melancon (2-1) tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth, Alvarez belted a double off Jensen and reached third on a sacrifice bunt. The bases were soon loaded on a pair of walks -- an intentional pass to Walker and an unintended one to Sanchez -- and Snider broke the deadlock by slicing a 3-1 pitch to left, which was misplayed by Shuck on a hop and brought in all three runners.
Martin's run-scoring hit that followed proved to be crucial, as Anaheim hit Grilli hard in its half of the 10th to nearly extend the game.
Snider misplayed Howie Kendrick's one-out fly ball to right that wound up as a a triple. Callaspo knocked home Kendrick with a base hit. Three of the next four Angels hitters singled as well, including consecutive shots from Shuck and Brendan Harris that pulled the home team within 10-9.
Both runners got into scoring position on the relay throw home on Harris' hit, but Grilli rebounded to strike out the dangerous Trout on five pitches.
Alvarez's towering homer to right in the top of the first inning briefly put the Pirates on top, but the Angels sent nine men to the plate and took advantage of a couple of defensive miscues during a five-run second that gave Blanton some room to work.
The first two runs came as a result of Pittsburgh errors, with Walker throwing the ball away on Erick Aybar's infield single and Alvarez handcuffed by Chris Iannetta's grounder to third. Shuck then slapped a single to left to increase the lead to 3-1, right before Pirates starter Charlie Morton walked Peter Bourjos to load the bases with one out.
That brought up Trout, who hit a sharp grounder to second that forced out Bourjos, but the outfielder was able to execute a successful takeout slide of Pittsburgh shortstop Jordy Mercer that allowed a hustling Shuck to score from second behind Iannetta.
Bourjos injured his left thumb on the play, however, and was replaced in the lineup by Brad Hawpe.
The Pirates got back in it by reaching Blanton for a pair of unearned runs in the fourth, with Kendrick's fielding error at second bringing in Marte after the leadoff man doubled to begin the frame. Walker followed with a double in front of Sanchez's infield single that cut the deficit to 5-3.
Blanton found a groove afterward, however, as the Pirates didn't manage a single baserunner over the remainder of the right-hander's stint.
"Chris [Iannetta] did a good job behind the plate," said Blanton. "I mixed my pitches and attacked."
Shuck walked in the bottom of the fourth, stole second, and came around on a two-out single by Hawpe that pushed Anaheim's advantage to 6-3.
Morton lasted 5 2/3 innings and allowed six runs -- three earned -- while issuing five walks.
The Angels suffered only their second interleague sweep at home, with the other coming against San Diego in 1999 ... Pittsburgh rookie Tony Sanchez, the fourth overall pick of the 2009 draft, started as the designated hitter and doubled in his first major league at-bat in the second inning ... Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton was out of the lineup for a third straight game with a sore right wrist, but came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth ... Callaspo extended his hitting streak to nine games ... Alvarez, who's now hit safely in eight straight games, hit his 69th career homer to tie Bobby Bonilla for third-most in club history by a third baseman.
- PITTSBURGH: 10
LOS ANGELES: 9
Jun 23 7:35 PM
- Brendan Harris double to left scored Erick Aybar with two out. On the play, J.B. Shuck advances to third. Runners on second and third with Mike Trout due up.
Pirates 10, Angels 9 Bot 10, 2 OutsJun 23 7:30 PM
- J.B. Shuck single to center scored Alberto Callaspo with two out. On the play, Erick Aybar advances to third. Runners on first and third with Brendan Harris due up.
Pirates 10, Angels 8 Bot 10, 2 OutsJun 23 7:27 PM
- Alberto Callaspo single to left scored Howie Kendrick with one out. Runner on first and Erick Aybar due up.
Pirates 10, Angels 7 Bot 10, 1 OutJun 23 7:20 PM
- Russell Martin single to left scored Travis Snider with one out. On the play, Andrew McCutchen advances to second. Runners on first and second with Starling Marte due up.
Pirates 10, Angels 6 Top 10, 1 OutJun 23 7:09 PM
- Travis Snider single to left scored Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker. On the play, Gaby Sanchez scored on J.B. Shuck's fielding error with one out. Runner on second and Andrew McCutchen due up.
Pirates 9, Angels 6 Top 10, 1 OutJun 23 7:04 PM
- Starling Marte single to left scored Russell Martin with two out. On the play, Starling Marte advanced to second on the throw home. Runner on second and Jordy Mercer due up.
Pirates 6, Angels 6 Top 9, 2 OutsJun 23 6:36 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Russell Martin double to left scored Andrew McCutchen with two out. Runner on second and Starling Marte due up.
Pirates 5, Angels 6 Top 9, 2 OutsJun 23 6:32 PM
- Pinch-Hitter Andrew McCutchen grounded into a fielder's choice, third to second scoring Neil Walker with two out. Gaby Sanchez out at second. Runner on first and Michael McKenry due up.
Pirates 4, Angels 6 Top 9, 2 OutsJun 23 6:29 PM
- Brad Hawpe single to right scored J.B. Shuck with two out. Runner on first and Mike Trout due up.
Pirates 3, Angels 6 Bot 4, 2 OutsJun 23 5:41 PM
- Gaby Sanchez single to third scored Garrett Jones with two out. On the play, Neil Walker advances to third. Runners on first and third with Travis Snider due up.
Pirates 3, Angels 5 Top 3, 2 OutsJun 23 5:32 PM
- Garrett Jones reached first on Howie Kendrick's fielding error scoring Starling Marte with two out. Runner on first and Neil Walker due up.
Pirates 2, Angels 5 Top 3, 2 OutsJun 23 5:30 PM
- Mike Trout grounded into a fielder's choice, second to short scoring Chris Iannetta and J.B. Shuck with two out. On the play, Peter Bourjos out at second. Runner on first and Albert Pujols due up.
Pirates 1, Angels 5 Bot 2, 2 OutsJun 23 5:23 PM
- J.B. Shuck single to left scored Erick Aybar with one out. On the play, Chris Iannetta advances to second. Runners on first and second with Peter Bourjos due up.
Pirates 1, Angels 3 Bot 2, 1 OutJun 23 5:20 PM
- Chris Iannetta reached first on Pedro Alvarez's fielding error scoring Alberto Callaspo with one out. On the play, Erick Aybar advances to second. Runners on first and second with J.B. Shuck due up.
Pirates 1, Angels 2 Bot 2, 1 OutJun 23 5:20 PM
- Erick Aybar singled to second scored. On the play, Howie Kendrick scored on Neil Walker's throwing error with one out out. Alberto Callaspo advanced to third. Runners on first and third with Chris Iannetta due up.
Pirates 1, Angels 1 Bot 2, 1 OutJun 23 5:18 PM
- Pedro Alvarez two-out, solo Home Run (19) to right center. Garrett Jones due up.
Pirates 1, Angels 0 Top 1, 2 OutsJun 23 3:43 PM
- PITTSBURGH: 0
LOS ANGELES: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 23 3:38 PM
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