- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 1, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Starling Marte swung so miserably at the first two sliders he saw from Arizona Diamondbacks closer Addison Reed in the ninth inning that the Pittsburgh left fielder knew more were on the way.

So he stepped out of the batter’s box, took a deep breath and waited.

“I was struggling the first two pitches but I was thinking about the pitch I want,” Marte said. “He threw me a slider and it was a good chance to hit the ball.”

Was it ever.


Marte turned an 81 mph slider over the middle of the plate into a game-tying, two-run double and then scored on pinch-hitter Ike Davis’ single two batters later as the Pirates rallied for a 3-2 win Tuesday night.

“Every time we’re up to bat there’s a chance we do something,” Davis said. “It’s hard to shut us down for nine. We’ve done it a lot this year … anything is possible with us.”

The Pirates were shut down for eight innings by Arizona starter Wade Miley before rallying in the ninth. Neil Walker and pinch-hitter Gregory Polanco started the inning with singles against Miley. One batter later, Marte turned an 0-2 count into a tie game.

“He got a ball that he could get a barrel on,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “He slowed it down and put a good swing on it and hit it to the big part of the ballpark.”

Andrew McCutchen was intentionally walked and Davis hit a broken-bat single to right, scoring Marte easily as the Pirates won for the fourth time in five games.

Ernesto Frieri (1-3) earned his first win with the Pirates after working a scoreless ninth.

The abrupt ending ruined an otherwise stellar outing for the struggling Miley, who is winless since May 10. The left-hander retired the first 14 batters he faced and allowed four hits in eight-plus innings, striking out 10. Despite the slender lead, Arizona manager Kirk Gibson didn’t hesitate to send Miley back out for the ninth in search of his first career shutout.

Things changed quickly, however, when Walker and Polanco reached.

“I didn’t make good pitches,” Miley said. “Actually, the pitch to Walker was a good one, a slider down and in, but I hung a pitch to Polanco. I was making pitches all night long but I didn’t make them when I needed to.”

Until the late miscues, it appeared Miley was on his way to his first victory in nine starts. Miguel Montero and Aaron Hill produced consecutive RBI singles in the fifth off Pirates starter Jeff Locke. Paul Goldschmidt went 2 for 4 with a run for the Diamondbacks, who fell to 27-2 when leading after eight innings.

“I want to be the guy out there with the game on the line,” Reed said after blowing his fourth save. “Sometimes it doesn’t go the way I want or my teammates want it to.”

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