The Pirates have been getting contributions from up and down their lineup to win 10 times in the last 13 games.
On Thursday, it was Gaby Sanchez, who homered and drove in three runs, and Garrett Jones hit a go-ahead, two-run double to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-4 comeback victory over the struggling Philadelphia Phillies.
“You don’t try to explain it,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We just play the game, one at a time. I really like our focus and intensity. Everybody knows their role.”
Justin Wilson (2-0) pitched two hitless innings in relief of James McDonald and the Pirates won their third straight. Taking the four-game series gave Pittsburgh its first series win in Philadelphia since April 4-6, 2003 at now demolished Veterans Stadium.
Ryan Howard went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs and Domonic Brown had a pair of doubles with an RBI for the Phillies, who have lost three straight and eight of 11. And the frustration was apparent in the eighth inning when Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was ejected by third-base umpire Dan Iassogna for arguing that Clint Barmes should have been called out for interference.
“We’re just not playing good baseball right now,” Manuel said. “We’re in a bad term, or whatever you want to call it. We’re trying and we have a lot of life, but we’re not getting it done. We’re in a period where we’re not playing good at all.”
Jones, pinch-hitting for Brandon Inge, laced a double off the wall in right with one out in the eighth against reliever Phillippe Aumont (1-3) to put the Pirates ahead 5-3. After striking out Jose Tabata to start the inning, Aumont hit Barmes with a pitch and allowed consecutive singles to Travis Snider and Marte to load the bases with one out.
Chad Durbin replaced Aumont (1-3) and gave up Sanchez’s sacrifice fly that made it 6-3.
“I think it’s the way we stayed after it against a real good pitcher,” Hurdle said. “We didn’t back away. Our hitters came through.”