PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was long gone from the dugout Saturday night when his team’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates got much more interesting.
With Gibson ejected after arguing about a replay review that didn’t go Arizona’s way in the bottom of the second inning, the Diamondbacks squandered a chance to take the lead in the seventh and then saw reliever Randall Delgado tossed from the game for hitting Pirates star Andrew McCutchen in the back with a pitch in the ninth.
The Diamondbacks were torched for seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings in the Pirates’ 8-3 win.
“The seventh inning kind of set the stage,” Gibson said. “We had a golden opportunity to score some runs but we didn’t score.”
The inning saw the Diamondbacks get runners on first and third with no outs, but come up with no runs to keep the score tied at 1.
Later, Delgado plunked McCutchen in the lower back in what many felt was retaliation for Pirates reliever Ernesto Frieri hitting Diamondbacks’ All-Star Paul Goldschmidt in the left hand with a pitch in the ninth on Friday. Goldschmidt was placed on the disabled list with a broken hand before Saturday’s game.
“I didn’t agree with the call,” Gibson said of Delgado getting ejected. “Guys get hit. It’s part of the game. It got away.”
“Sure it did,” McCutchen said when told what Gibson said, a hint of sarcasm in his tone. “They had all game to retaliate. They had the first inning to retaliate. They had the first pitch (of the ninth inning at-bat) to retaliate. They missed. You throw a slider on the second pitch and then you throw up and in on the next pitch. Are you trying to hurt me too? That’s the question.”
Delgado looked dejected as he walked off the mound, head down, following his ejection for hitting McCutchen.
“The umpire ejected me, so I just left. I was trying to work my corners and unfortunately the ball moved. I think maybe I didn’t have control,” he said.
The Pirates broke the game open late, just as they did the previous night. McCutchen drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single in the eighth off third baseman Andy Marte’s glove that keyed a four-run inning to make it 5-1.
It was 1-all when Josh Harrison, who had homered earlier, opened the Pittsburgh eighth with an infield hit and Gregory Polanco reached on catcher’s interference. McCutchen’s sharp ground ball glanced off Marte’s glove and into left field, breaking the tie.
Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler’s throwing error later helped the Pirates break away. Brent Morel, inserted into the game at third base in the sixth inning with Pedro Alvarez struggling through an 0-for-3 night, hit an RBI double in the eighth and a two-run single in the ninth.
“I threw 24 pitches, I think 23 of them, I felt they were pretty good. The last one (to Morel) wasn’t,” Ziegler said. “I was getting ground balls, just not at guys. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Jared Hughes (6-2) got the win with a scoreless seventh. Ziegler (4-2) took the loss.
Frieri came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth, but there were no further incidents. David Peralta hit a two-run homer off Frieri. Peralta, who went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .319, drove in all of the Diamondbacks’ runs with a home run and a single. A double he hit in the third inning hit just below the yellow home run line in center field.
A CATCH FOR `CUTCH’
The Pirates turned what could have been a big inning for the Diamondbacks into nothing thanks to two fine catches from left fielder Travis Snider and center fielder McCutchen in the second. Snider robbed Didi Gregorious of a hit by diving to catch the line drive, and McCutchen stole a hit from Marte with a sliding catch in shallow right-center field that looked to be a trapped ball. The play was challenged by Gibson but the out call was upheld after a 2-minute, 49-second review.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-8) starts the finale of the four-game series Sunday. He is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh.
Pirates: Left-hander Francisco Liriano makes his 19th start of the season. He’s 3-7 with a 3.97 ERA. Opponents are batting only .231 against him this season.
Diamondbacks: Infielder Cliff Pennington and outfielder A.J. Pollock are on rehab assignments and last played in a rookie league game on Thursday.
Pirates: Second baseman Neil Walker was a late scratch from Saturday’s lineup with back tightness. Harrison, originally Saturday’s left fielder, replaced Walker at second base.
Outfielder Starling Marte was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis. He has been on the concussion disabled list since July 23.