With the bases loaded, two outs and the score tied in the 12th inning Thursday, Pirates catcher Russell Martin jumped back from a 92 mph Tony Cingrani fastball headed for his knees. The remaining fans from a crowd of 30,710 groaned. The PNC Park crowd wanted Martin to endure some pain for the greater good. They wanted to go home and get out of the rain, to end another four-plus hour game, and avoid being swept by the Reds. Several pitches later, Martin enjoyed a pain-free path to end the game. He literally produced a walk-off win with a walk, forcing home Gaby Sanchez for the winning run in a 4-3 Pirates victory. Sanchez reached on a single, Josh Harrison walked and Clint Barmes — who had his first four-hit game since 2009 — was grazed by a Cingrani pitch to load the bases. “Upon reflection, I did ponder (that) maybe if I would have got hit, the game would be over,” Martin said. “Typically if the ball is around my elbow or my shoulder, I'll tend to lean into it a little bit, but when it's at your feet, you just react.” In a series that included controversial umpiring calls, Reds manager Bryan Price thought the ball-four pitch to Martin was a strike. “The strike zone had already been established. The low strike had been called,” Price said. “I'm really, really angry with what happened here.” Said Martin: “It's nice for a call to go our way for once.” The walk-off win took the bullpen off the hook. One year ago to the day, Jason Grilli blew his first save of the 2013 season. Grilli had converted his first 25 chances until allowing a home run to Jay Bruce on June 19, 2013.
Pirates enjoy walk-off win in series finale against Reds
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Jun 20