The D-backs could have won the game in the ninth, holding a 4-3 lead entering the frame. But closer Fernando Rodney couldn’t lock down the save. They had another opportunity to win the game in the 11th when Nick Ahmed clobbered a two-out homer, but D-backs reliever J.J. Hoover allowed a two-out home run to Pirates shortstop Jordy Mercer in the bottom of the frame to send the game to the 12th.
The D-backs finally broke through in the 12th, and reliever T.J. McFarland made sure the Pirates didn’t come back a fourth time.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Small-ball rally: The Pirates only needed one hit to tie the game in the ninth. Francisco Cervelli and McCutchen both drew walks off Rodney. Rodney then misplaced a sac bunt from Gift Ngoepe to load the bases. Alen Hanson, pinch-running for Cervelli, scored on a Mercer double-play grounder to the shortstop.
Early returns: Pirates left fielder Gregory Polanco made his first appearance at the plate since suffering an ankle injury during the Pirates’ 4-3 win over the D-backs on Monday. His return wasn’t the only good news for the Pirates, though, as Polanco singled to right field to even the score at 2-2 in the fifth. He now has seven hits in his last 16 at-bats.
Jonathan Toye is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.