Cintron's ninth-inning hit delivers win for D-backs
Pirates starter John Van Benschoten homered in the 5-4 loss.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A day after being replaced in Arizona's lineup by a rookie, struggling Alex Cintron came through when the Diamondbacks needed him.
Cintron broke out of a 2-for-20 slump, going 2-for-5, and he singled home the winning run in the ninth inning Monday night to give Arizona a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"It's a great feeling for me because I've been struggling all year," the shortstop said.
Cintron, batting .245 with four homers and 39 RBIs, was benched Sunday in favor of rookie Jerry Gil.
"I've been struggling all year with my timing, so I've just been trying to help the team defensively," Cintron said. "I've got to step up and do the job now."
Pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga led off the ninth against John Grabow (2-5) with an infield single. Gil moved to second on Quinton McCracken's sacrifice before Cintron did exactly what manager Al Pedrique was hoping he'd do.
"He had a great at-bat in the ninth, defensively he played good and he was running the bases very aggressively," Pedrique said of Cintron, who also had an RBI double in the second inning. "That's the Alex we'd like to see on an everyday basis."
Grabow, who had a 12.60 ERA in seven games this month entering Monday's game, knows what's gone wrong for him.
"It's real simple: I'm getting the ball up in the zone," he said. "You can't do that coming out of the bullpen. It's not acceptable."
Reliever Shane Nance (1-0) got two outs for his first major league victory. Greg Aquino pitched the ninth for his seventh save as Arizona won its first one-run game on the road since a 3-2 victory at Toronto on June 11.
Bucs drop fifth straight
Pittsburgh starter John Van Benschoten hit a two-run homer for his first big league hit, but the Pirates lost their fifth straight.
"It was an all-around bad game for us," Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Van Benschoten, recalled from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day to make his second career start, allowed four runs -- one earned -- and six hits over the first three innings.
He settled down to retire 13 straight before Danny Bautista's seventh-inning single and finished with four strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.
"It was a little bit of an adjustment for me, so I just slowed myself down," Van Benschoten said. "That's all I could think about. Obviously, it would have been nice to pick up a win. But I was getting used to PNC Park, all the fans. It was a fun day, no matter what happened in the end."
Diamondbacks starter Casey Fossum, who beat Van Benschoten last Wednesday at Arizona, allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings while he continues to work on a new delivery. He struck out four and walked three.