Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was looking for a spark.
His team was coming off what he called its worst game of the season.
So Gibson moved outfielder David Peralta into the second spot of the batting order. He responded with three hits, including a two-run homer, and four RBIs as the Diamondbacks beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night to avoid a series sweep.
“I moved him up in the lineup because he’s put the bat on the ball and he’s been very consistent for us,” Gibson said. “He’s very aggressive and he will play anywhere you ask him.”
Peralta was more ready for the chance than even his manager might have known.
“We had a little team meeting among the players after (Wednesday night’s 5-1 loss) and just said to remember that we are a good team,” he said. “I think it motivated everybody. It left everybody with a good feeling.”
Arizona scored three runs in the sixth and put the game away with seven in the ninth.
“The first game was devastating because they came back and stole it for us and then we played our worst game of the year last night,” Gibson said. “We came back with a good effort today, played a good, clean game, got good pitching, some clutch hits then were able to have some fun in that last inning.”
The Pirates are 0 for 8 in chances to sweep opposing teams this season. They looked primed to get their first sweep as starter Vance Worley retired the first 12 batters he faced and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
Ender Inciarte broke up Worley’s no-hit bid with an RBI single with one out in the sixth. Peralta followed with his third home run of the year which barely cleared the 21-foot-high fence in right field and gave Arizona a 3-2 lead.
Pittsburgh scored in the third on a double by Jordy Mercer and RBI groundout by Gregory Polanco.
The Pirates opened the fourth with hits by Neil Walker, Russell Martin and Ike Davis to extend their lead to 2-0. Walker started the inning with a double and scored on Davis’ single.
Brandon McCarthy (3-10) was pulled in the sixth after issuing a two-out walk to Davis. He threw 5 2-3 innings and allowed two runs and eight hits, walked two and struck out six as he needed to work through some issues on the mound in the early stages of his start.
“Some starts you feel great out of the gates but it wasn’t quite there for me,” McCarthy said. “I was able to hang in there and when things got dicey, I was able to make pitches.”