MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - INSIDE PITCH
PHOENIX -- Josh Harrison celebrated an anniversary of sorts Friday, when Pittsburgh faced Arizona left-hander Vidal Nuno.
The multi-tasking Harrison became a fixture in the Pirates lineup after the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees on May 18, in a game that Nuno also started. The D-backs acquired Nuno for Brandon McCarthy on July 6.
Harrison homered in that game, breaking a tie at 3 in the top of the seventh inning off Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves, and he has played in 65 of 67 games since, bouncing between third base, second base and both corner outfield positions.
Harrison had four home runs in the last six games and an extra-base hit in every one of them after doubling and tripling in a 9-4 victory Friday, part of a larger run. He is hitting .298 (73-for-247) with 16 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and 33 RBIs with 11 stolen bases since May 18. Most relevant, the Pirates are 41-26 since his insertion.
"Just doing what I've always done as far as preparation for the game," Harrison said of his strong run. "Getting pitches and not missing them. That's the name of the game. Baseball, you have those stretches where you are missing pitches. It's a long season. Just continue to try to put good swings on the pitches that I can handle."
Harrison, 27 on July 8, has started 23 games in right field, 17 in left field, 13 at third base and 12 at second base.
"He has played above-average defense everywhere we put him," Pittsburgh manager Clint hurdle said. "He's laid out in both corners of the outfield. He's thrown people out from both corners of the outfield. Played exceptional defense at third, above-average defense at second.
"He's probably been one of our best run producers, as far as hitting with runners in scoring position as well. It's been a very exciting season for him. He's one of the reasons our ball club is where we are in the standings right now."
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won one
NEXT: Pirates (RHP Vance Worley, 4-1, 2.54 ERA) at Diamondbacks (RHP Chase Anderson, 6-4, 3.34 ERA)
--LF/3B Josh Harrison had an extra-base hit in his sixth straight game with a triple off the top of the right-center field fence in the eighth inning. The ball hit the yellow line on the top of the fence, and the umpires reviewed it to make sure it did not leave the park. Harrison doubled with one out in the ninth, sparking a five-run rally. "Getting pitches and not missing them. That's the name of the game. Baseball, you have those stretches where you are missing pitches. It's a long season. Just continue to try to put good swings on the pitches that I can handle."
--3B Pedro Alvarez's two-run pinch double off Arizona LHP Eury De La Rosa to tie the game at 4 in the eighth inning was his first pinch hit since July 3, 2012 against Houston. "Just trying to be ready to hit," said Alvarez, who hooked a fastball into right-center field to help the Pirates to their 27th comeback victory of the season. "This is a team that doesn't stop playing until the last out is made," Alvarez said. "That's something that hasn't wavered from our play, no matter what time of the year it is."
--C Russell Martin, who had an RBI single in a five-run ninth inning, walked toward the Arizona dugout after the game to clear the air after Arizona 1B Paul Goldschmidt was hit by a pitch in the left hand in the last of the ninth inning. "I wanted him to know we weren't trying to hit him on purpose," Martin said. "There are not many spots you can pitch that guy, and one of the best spots you can go on him is up and in, away from the barrel. The ball ran in. It's happened to me this year, too." Martin has six hits in his last seven at-bats with runners in scoring position.
--SS Jordy Mercer is hitting .467 against the D-backs this season, with three doubles and five runs scored. He had two doubles and scored three runs Friday, walking and scoring in a three-run eighth inning and doubling in the tiebreaking run in a five-run ninth in a 9-4 victory.
--LHP Tony Watson, a reliever, is tied with RHP Edinson Volquez, a starter, for the team lead with eight victories after pitching a 1-2-3 eighth inning Friday. Watson's eight victories are tied for the most for a Pirates reliever since the start of the 2007 season. RHP Matt Capps won eight games in 2013.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "It just shows the resilience that we have. We grind out at-bats all the way through the game, whether we are down. It doesn't matter. We play hard every night. It doesn't mean we are going to win every night, but it means we can trust each other to play that kind of baseball." -- C Russell Martin, after the Pirates scored eight runs in the final two innings for a 9-4 victory at Arizona on Friday.
MLB Team Report - Pittsburgh Pirates - ROSTER REPORT
--LF Starling Marte (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to July 22. He passed concussion protocols July 21 and was cleared to play but failed the tests July 23. He is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Aug. 1 at Triple-A Indianapolis.
--RHP Gerrit Cole (tight right lat) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He threw on flat ground July 13 and 15. He threw off a mound July 16 and July 20. He threw a simulated game July 23. Cole made a rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis on July 28. He is scheduled for a second start for Indianapolis the first weekend in August.
--INF Clint Barmes (strained left groin) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 30. He began jogging July 23 and stamped himself ready to be activated.
RHP Francisco Liriano
RHP Charlie Morton
LHP Jeff Locke
RHP Edinson Volquez
RHP Vance Worley
RHP Mark Melancon (closer)
LHP Tony Watson
RHP Ernesto Frieri
LHP Justin Wilson
RHP Jeanmar Gomez
RHP Jared Hughes
RHP Stolmy Pimentel
1B Ike Davis
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
3B Pedro Alvarez
INF Gaby Sanchez
INF Michael Martinez
INF Brent Morel
LF Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
RF Gregory Polanco
OF Travis Snider