August 7, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (bottom right) slides into third base ahead of the tag by Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Chris Johnson (28) as third base umpire Brian O'Nora (top right) and Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach Nick Leyva (16) look on during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
A rare implosion by Jason Grilli and two big homers by Chris Johnson (in back-to-back innings, no less) transformed a close game into a blowout and led to a 10-4 Pirates loss against the Diamondbacks Tuesday night.
In the first inning, Arizona scored a run when Paul Goldschmidt hit a line drive off Jeff Karstens' backside, and Stephen Drew came home from third. The Pirates tied the game in the home half when Starling Marte and Travis Snider led off with singles and Andrew McCutchen brought Marte home with a sacrifice fly.
The teams traded runs again in the third -- Drew hit a solo homer in the top half of the inning, and McCutchen singled home Snider in the bottom half. But Drew hit an RBI single in the fourth to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead.
The Pirates jumped back in front in the seventh. Marte hit a 400-plus-foot bomb to center to lead off the inning, and after hits by Snider and McCutchen, Neil Walker brought home a run with a sacrifice fly.
Grilli came on in the top of the eighth and promptly gave up a double by Goldschmidt, a single by Justin Upton, an RBI single by Miguel Montero, and then a three-run blast by Chris Johnson. (Who, you might recall, doubled, tripled and homered against the Pirates on July 27, when he was a member of the Astros. Annoying.) That made it 7-4, Astros. Oh well -- it's hard to begrudge Grilli too much for messing up one time, given his amazing success this season.
It got worse in the top of the ninth. Jared Hughes got outs from the first two batters, but then gave up a walk to Upton, an RBI double by Montero ... and yet another blast by Chris Johnson. Appropriately enough, it went into the Pirates' bullpen. The Bucs went down 1-2-3 in the ninth, and the Diamondbacks won, 10-4.