Pirates 6, Blue Jays 5
Updated On: May 02 2014 09:59:11 PM CDT
PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez tied the game with a two-run home run in the ninth inning and Starling Marte won it shortly thereafter with the first walk-off home run of his career as the Pirates came back to beat Toronto 6-5 on Friday.
Second baseman Neil Walker opened the inning with a single to right field. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen struck out, but Alvarez hit his seventh homer of the season off Sergio Santos (0-2) to draw the Pirates even for the first time since the fourth inning. After Ike Davis flew out to center as a pinch-hitter, Marte followed with the game-winning home run to center field.
Mark Melancon (1-1) earned the win after he worked a scoreless top half of the frame.
The Pirates victory spoiled the return of former Pirate Jose Bautista, who doubled twice and drove in a run for the Blue Jays. Colby Rasmus hit a two-run home run and Brett Lawrie finished 2-for-4.
Walker finished 3-for-4 and scored three runs for Pittsburgh, while McCutchen finished 3-for-5 and drove in two runs.
Brandon Morrow made the start for Toronto and allowed three runs on 11 hits over five innings of work. After he issued eight walks in his April 26 start against the Boston Red Sox, Morrow walked just one batter Friday night.
Pirates starter Gerrit Cole gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings.
In his first plate appearance at PNC Park since he was traded from the Pirates to the Blue Jays in 2008, Bautista doubled down the left field line. He then scored when first baseman Edwin Encarnacion doubled to deep left-center to give the Jays for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Pittsburgh evened the score in the second when first baseman Gaby Sanchez scored from third as shortstop Jordy Mercer grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and no outs. After Mercer's groundout, Morrow struck Cole out looking to escape a dangerous situation with only the one run scoring.
The Pirates took their first lead of the night in the third when McCutchen followed Walker's one-out double with a single up the middle.
In the fourth, Rasmus sent the first pitch he saw from Cole into the left field bleachers for a two-run homer that put Toronto up 3-2. Toronto added another run in the fifth on Bautista's second double of the night that scored shortstop Jose Reyes from third.
Walker and McCutchen teamed up again in the fifth, with Walker doubling to right and McCutchen knocking him home to cut Toronto's lead to 4-3.
After the starters departed, Toronto's bullpen locked down the Pirates offense for three innings. The Blue Jays added an insurance run in the sixth when third baseman Lawrie scored on a triple by pinch-hitter Steve Tolleson off Pittsburgh reliever Justin Wilson.
NOTES: RF Jose Bautista's first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the American League's longest active streak. Bautista has also reached base in each of his 29 games this season. ... CF Andrew McCutchen is now batting .486 (18-for-37) in his last 10 games against AL teams.
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