Neil Walker's bloop single to right field scored Russell Martin in the ninth to give the Pirates a 6-5 walk-off victory against the Cincinnati Reds Monday night at PNC Park. The Pirates trailed, 2-0, early, led, 4-2, after a dramatic Ike Davis broken-bat grand slam, then trailed, 5-4, before Andrew McCutchen tied the score with a homer in the eighth. The win snapped a three game losing streak, and pulled the Pirates to 9-11 as the two teams reunited at PNC Park for the first time since October for an electric National League wild-card game. "Talk about exciting baseball to have to answer. We're down. We answer. They come back. We tie. We add on. These are things good teams need to do," said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. "We believe we're a good team and we're going to go out on the field and prove it. We believe we're going to as long as we keep playing and finishing things off." Martin and Andrew McCutchen drew one-out walks off reliever J.J. Hoover in the ninth. Pedro Alvarez then popped up to third before Walker came to the plate. He was behind in the count, 0-2, when he dropped a curveball into right field and Martin ran on contact. "Most catchers don't move as well as Russ. He's moving on the pitch. There's two outs, he's being sent," said Walker. "Fortunately, the throw kind of kicked up on the catcher and he was safe at home." The Pirates were up, 4-3, when Hurdle opted to send starter Francisco Liriano back out for the eighth. A 14-innning game Sunday ate into the bullpen, and Liriano had settled after giving up a earned run each in the first and third, and one unearned run in the seventh. Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back singles to open the inning, ending Liriano's outing at 101 pitches. "We had a long game [Sunday] so I was trying to give them everything I had. Didn't go the way I wanted to but at least I tried," said Liriano, who said he struggled with location on both of those hits. "My sinker wasn't working. Was up or down and that was missing. I was getting behind in the count. I'll just put it behind me, and get ready for my next start and learn from my mistakes."
Pirates rally to beat Reds, 6-5
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Apr 22