Dropping three of four to the Los Angeles Dodgers at home, the Pirates have now turned around to take two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals on the road, highlighted by today's 19 inning marathon game, winning the longest game in the Majors this season, 6-3 over the Cardinals.
Pedro Alvarez homered in the 19th inning for his 23rd of the season, a solo shot off Barret Browning (1-3) and Andrew McCutchen added a two-run single later in the inning, fueling a three run inning in the top of the 19th. The game took 6 hours, 7 minutes to finish and it appeared things were going to end in the 17th when Garrett Jones hit an RBI single, scoring James McDonald, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead, but Tony Cruz hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 17th to tie the game at 3-3 after Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker started the inning with singles.
Both teams used eight pitchers, and the Pirates turned to starter Wandy Rodriguez (8-12, 4.00 ERA) in the 18th innings, who was set to start for the Pirates on Monday night at San Diego, and Rodriguez went on to pitch two scoreless innings of relief, earning his first win as a Pittsburgh Pirates. It was Rodriguez's first win since July 28 and his first relief appearance since 2006.
Rodriguez allowed one hit and struck out three and walked one in a memorable marathon game that unlike last year, the Pirates ended up on the winning side in what could be a big momentum boost for the Pirates going forward. It's now onto San Diego for the Pirates.
The Pirates are now 4-0 in extra innings games this season......Jose Tabata made his first start since July 1 and was 2-7 with a double, run scored and was caught stealing twice (both in extra innings) in the game and was picked off at first......According to Espn stats & info, Michael McKenry is the first Pirates player to 0-8 or worse in a game since Johnny Ray in a 16 inning loss to the Phillies on June 21, 1985.......
NL CENTRAL STANDINGS
1. Cincinnati Reds (74-48)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (67-54, 6.5 GB)
3. St. Louis Cardinals (65-56, 8.5 GB)
4. Milwaukee Brewers (54-66, 19 GB)
5. Chicago Cubs (47-73, 26 GB)
6. Houston Astros (39-83, 35 GB)
WILD CARD RACE
1. Atlanta Braves (70-51)
2. Pittsburgh Pirates (67-54)
3. San Francisco Giants (66-55, 1 GB)
4. St Louis Cardinals (2 GB)
5. Arizona Diamondbacks (62-59, 5 GB)