PITTSBURGH — The Pirates spent most of Saturday looking for a big hit to break through against the Miami Marlins.
They finally got it in the seventh, when Jordy Mercer hit a tying two-run triple and John Jaso followed with a go-ahead double, lifting Pittsburgh to a 7-6 victory.
Mercer’s shot to center off reliever David Phelps (2-3) scored Andrew McCutchen and Elias Diaz, then Mercer scored on Jaso’s ground-rule double to right.
“Mercer and those guys who got on base in the seventh, they did all the heavy lifting, really,” Jaso said of his big pinch hit. “My job was probably the easiest out of all of those guys.”
After ceding three runs in the first, Pittsburgh left runners in scoring position in five consecutive innings before Mercer and Jaso finally came through, frustrating what was otherwise a solid offensive performance.
The Pirates totaled 16 hits, with Josh Bell, Diaz and McCutchen collecting three apiece.
“We made pitching hard for them today,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “I liked the fight in the offense. I liked the fight all over the place”
Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton was hit by a pitch on the right wrist in the first inning and left the game. The team said X-rays were negative and that Stanton is day-to-day with a bruised wrist.
“The fact that there’s no fractures just means basically there’s going to be some swelling,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s going to be sore. How long’s that going to be? It could be a few days.”
Even without Stanton, the Marlins kept slugging, tagging Pirates starter Trevor Williams with up five runs in four innings, including back-to-back homers by J.T. Realmuto and Derek Dietrich in the fourth. Realmuto had three hits and three RBIs.
Daniel Hudson (1-2) earned the win behind a scoreless seventh. Juan Nicasio got two outs in the eighth, and Felipe Rivero got four outs for the save — his first with the Pirates and the fourth of his career.
SHUFFLING THE DECK
The Pirates made five transactions before the game, sending RHPs Tyler Glasnow and Dovydas Neverauskas to Triple-A Indianapolis, recalling RHPs Edgar Santana and A.J. Schugel and designating RHP Pat Light for assignment.
Glasnow had been in the Pirates’ rotation all season, but was 2-6 with a 7.45 ERA. He’ll be replaced by Jameson Taillon, returning from surgery to treat testicular cancer on May 8. Santana and Schugel joined the bullpen, which has had a busy week. Pirates relievers have thrown 215 2/3 innings this season, tied for fourth-most in the National League.
The Marlins also exchanged relievers, sending Brian Ellington to Triple-A New Orleans and recalling Drew Steckenrider. Mattingly said he’d like Ellington to focus on throwing more strikes and likes Steckenrider’s ability to go multiple innings.
Santana made his major league debut in the sixth inning. The first batter he faced was a man with over 3,000 hits to his name in Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki.
“I was an honor to face that kind of hitter,” Santana said. “Before my first pitch, I was a little scared. I was like, ‘Oh my God. It’s Ichiro.’ After the first pitch, I said to myself, ‘I got this. I can make outs.'”
Santana got Ichiro to ground out and gave up a run on two hits in his inning of work.
Marlins: RHP Junichi Tazawa threw at two-inning rehab appearance with Class A Jupiter on Friday night. Tazawa gave up one hit and struck out two. It was his first rehab stint as he returns from rib cartilage inflammation. He has been out since May 16.
Pirates: Taillon is expected to make his return from the disabled list on Monday and start that night against the Colorado Rockies. Taillon has not pitched since May 4.
Marlins: Jeff Locke (0-1, 3.48 ERA) will make his first start against the Pirates, the only major league team he’d ever played for before his season.
Pirates: Ivan Nova (5-4, 3.06 ERA) will take his regular turn five days after leaving the game in Baltimore on Tuesday with left knee inflammation. Nova said his knee feels “fine” and shouldn’t be an issue.