Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football Homers haunt Pirates in loss to Arizona

Homers haunt Pirates in loss to Arizona

Jason Kubel homered twice and Wil Nieves once as the Diamondbacks topped the Pirates 6-3 at PNC Park to earn a split in their four-game series.

One pitch—a  ball in the upper-middle part of the plate—to Arizona catcher Wil Nieves allowed the Diamondback to seize momentum and defeat the Pirates by a six to three score.
 
Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez took the loss after allowing two-run homers to Jason Kubel in the first and Nieves in the sixth inning.
 
“I don’t know what’s going on with me,” Rodriguez said. “I feel bad because I try to do my best to help the team win.”
 
Despite the first inning troubles, the Pirates were able to give Rodriguez a lead in the second inning. The inning started with singles from Gaby Sanchez and Neil Walker, however it was a Michael McKenry single which scored Sanchez that opened up the Pirates scoring.

The scoring continued when Jordy Mercer hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game and later took the lead when Starling Marte hit an opposite field single.

The Pirates maintained a 3-2 lead until the sixth inning when Rodriguez had a breaking ball hang in the upper middle portion of the strike zone. Nieves made him pay and the Diamondbacks took control of the game with a 4-3 lead.
 
Following a Sanchez single in the third inning, Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders retired 14 consecutive Pirates batters before a Marte triple in the seventh inning ended the streak. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was impressed with Saunders’ work.

“He just hit spots and worked ahead in counts,” Hurdle said. “After that last window of opportunity we didn’t have much come our way at all.”
 
The Diamondbacks were not done though as Aaron Hill hit a single in the top of the seventh inning and Kubel hit his second homer of the game, this time off of Jared Hughes.
 
Hughes lasted two-thirds of an inning after giving up the homer and two batters later a double from Justin Upton knocked him out of the game.
 
In his place came Jeff Locke who as a long reliever, came in and pitched two and a third innings without giving up a hit. It was Locke’s first time that he was not a starting pitcher and thus he needed to make the adjustment in order to excel.
 
“It’s something I’ve never done in my life before, it was just a different mindset,” Locke said.
 
Despite Locke’s efforts, the Pirates were unable to make a comeback as David Hernandez and J.J. Putz closed the door after Saunders’ exit.
 
Kubel finds success:
Kubel’s two-homer game was the ninth multi-homer game of his career. His most recent was a three homerun effort July 21 against the Houston Astros.
 
In the at-bat prior to his second homerun, Kubel flew out to centerfield. After the game, Kubel said he was “frustrated” and wanted to square the bat next time. The result was his second homer of the game and 25th of the season.
 
“I put some good wood on the ball,” Kubel said. “The first one, Wandy threw me away on the first pitch and on the second pitch I didn’t hit it great but I got enough of it. The other one I had a plan, and it worked out.”

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