Pirates rally in 9th for victory
PITTSBURGH – Pedro Alvarez hit a tying two-run homer off Sergio Santos in the ninth inning and Starling Marte following one out later with a winning drive into the bullpen in left-center, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
Santos (0-2) entered with a 5-3 lead and allowed a leadoff single to Neil Walker. He struck out Andrew McCutchen, and Alvarez followed with his seventh homer this season. Pinch-hitter Ike Davis flied out, and Marte hit the first game-ending homer of his big league career.
Mark Melancon (1-1) pitched a hitless ninth for the win. After saving his first four save chances this season, Santos has blown three of his last four for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last nine games.
McCutchen had three hits for Pittsburgh, which outhit the Blue Jays 17-10. The Pirates won for just the third time in 13 games and the fifth time in their last 20.
Pirates starter Gerrit Cole allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, failing to reach the sixth for the first time in six starts this season. Toronto’s Brandon Morrow gave up three runs and 11 hits in five innings.
In his first at-bat in Pittsburgh since 2008, Jose Bautista hit a two-out double in the first and scored on a double by Edwin Encarnacion.
Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead on Jordy Mercer’s run-scoring, double-play grounder in the second and McCutchen’s RBI single in the third.
Colby Rasmus hit his sixth homer of the season int he fourth, a two-run drive, and Bautista had an RBI double in the fifth that made it 4-2.
McCutchen’s run-scoring single cut the deficit in the bottom half, but Toronto regained a two-run lead in the sixth on pinch-hitter Steve Tolleson’s run-scoring, two-out triple off Justin Wilson.
NOTES: Bautista has a 12-game hitting streak and has reached based in all 29 games he’s played this season. … Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (2-3, 5.09 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday against Francisco Liriano (0-3, 3.97).