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Walker’s single lifts Pirates



Published: Tue, April 22, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH

Ike Davis became the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April, and Neil Walker had a winning run single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates twice overcame deficits to beat the Reds 6-5 Monday night.

Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 before Davis’ fourth-inning homer off Mike Leake. Davis hit a game-winning, ninth-inning slam off the Reds’ J.J. Hoover on April 5 for the New York Mets, who traded him to the Pirates on Friday.

According to STATS, no player previously hit slams for different teams in the same April. Davis became just the third to hit slams for different teams against the same opponent in the same year, following Ray Boone in 1953 and Mike Piazza in 1998.

The Pirates were behind 5-4 before Andrew McCutchen’s leadoff homer in the eighth against Manny Parra.

Walker got the winning hit off Hoover (1-2) after consecutive one-out walks to Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen followed by Pedro Alvarez’s popout.

Jared Hughes (1-0) pitched a scoreless, two-hit ninth for the win after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day.

Cincinnati had taken a 5-4 lead in the eighth when Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier singled off Francisco Liriano, Jay Bruce hit an RBI double against Justin Wilson and, after an intentional walk to Ryan Ludwick, Devin Mesoraco hit a run-scoring single.

McCutchen and Walker each had three hits for the Pirates, while Mesoraco, Phillps and Frazier had three hits each for Cincinnati. Mesoraco has a hit in all 10 games he’s played this season and is batting .541.

Liriano gave up five runs — four earned — and seven hits in seven-plus innings. Leake allowed eight hits in seven innings.

Cincinnati went ahead in the first when speedy rookie Billy Hamilton was hit on a foot by a pitch, advanced to third on Joey Votto’s soft tapper back to the mound and scored when he beat the throw home on Phillips’ grounder to Alvarez at third.

Phillips and Bruce hit consecutive doubles in the third, and Hamilton’s sacrifice fly in the seventh pulled the Reds to 4-3.

NOTES

Boone, playing for Cleveland and Detroit, hit slams against the St. Louis Browns in 1953. Piazza, playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets, hit slams against Arizona. ... Pirates LHP Wandy Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day DL with right knee tendinitis, opening a roster spot for Hughes. ... Pirates SS Jordy Mercer was limited to pinch-hitting duty for a third straight day because of soreness in his right ankle.


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