PITTSBURGH (AP) — Philadelphia’s Didi Gregorious raced home when an ambitious throw from first to third by Pittsburgh’s Michael Chavis leading off the top of the 10th inning sailed wide of the target, helping the Phillies edge the Pirates 2-1 on Saturday night.
Philadelphia’s Rhys Hoskins led off the 10th with a sharp grounder to Chavis at first base. Rather than step on the bag for an out, Chavis tried to cut down Gregorious as he ran from second to third.
The throw handcuffed Pittsburgh third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and rolled into foul territory, allowing the sliding Gregorious to pop up and sprint across the plate to put the Phillies in front.
Corey Knebel (3-5) earned the win by working two scoreless innings. He began the top of the 10th by picking off Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz at second base, then retired the final two batters as Philadelphia matched a season-high by moving seven games over .500 (54-47).
J.T. Realmuto had two of Philadelphia’s six hits, including his 10th home run of the season leading off the sixth.
Pittsburgh’s Cal Mitchell tied the game in the seventh with his fourth home run, turning on a 99 mph fastball from Jose Alvardo and sending it into the right-field seats. Chavis had two singles for the Pirates, who were limited to four hits. Yerry De Los Santos took the loss (0-3). The Pirates have dropped six consecutive games and 11 of 13.
Philadelphia’s Ranger Suárez worked six shutout innings as he neared the anniversary of his transition from reliever to starter. Suárez retired the first 11 Pirates he faced and surrendered three singles with a walk and a hit batter while striking out a season-high eight and trimming his ERA to 3.60.
While Suárez largely cruised, Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller labored everywhere but on the scoreboard.
Keller needed 26 pitches to get through a bases-loaded first-inning jam unscathed and he became more efficient as he went along despite giving up a bevy of hard-hit balls, in part to some heads-up defense.
Second baseman Diego Castillo doubled Bryson Stott off first to end the second after catching a line drive from Matt Vierling. Ke’Bryan Hayes caught Schwarber in a run-down between second and third in the third inning after making a diving backhand stop and then faking a throw to first, a move that caught Schwarber drifting too far off second and into no man’s land.
The game was still scoreless in the sixth when Realmuto sent a 94 mph fastball just over the 21-feet high Clemente Wall to put the Phillies in front. Keller retired the next three batters and exited after allowing one run on five hits, with three walks and three strikeouts to lower his ERA to 4.37, the lowest it has been all season.
Phillies: Placed RHP Kyle Gibson on the bereavement list following the death of his grandmother. Gibson will miss his next scheduled start on Tuesday against Milwaukee. Interim manager Rob Thomson said the team will have a “bullpen” day rather than bump Zack Wheeler’s next start up a day. Reliever Mark Appel, the top pick in the 2013 draft who finally made his major-league debut in June, was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … SS Jean Segura (broken right index finger) was scheduled to play nine innings at second base on both Saturday and Sunday at Lehigh Valley.
Pirates: LHP Chase De Jong (knee) threw a bullpen session on Saturday and will be re-evaluated on Sunday. De Jong went on the 10-day injured list with knee tendonitis on July 17.
The series wraps up on Sunday. Aaron Nola (6-8, 3.32 ERA) starts for the Phillies against Pittsburgh’s JT Brubaker (2-8, 3.96).
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