Russell Martin's walk-off hit leads to 1-0, 11-inning win

Hannah Foslien

The Pirates won 1-0 on Russell Martin's bases-loaded, walk-off hit in the 11th inning against the Tigers.

For the first seven innings, the Pirates were dominated, as they so frequently have been this series, by the opposing starter -- Doug Fister struck out 12 batters and only walked one. In 10-plus innings, the Pirates whiffed 13 times, meaning the Bucs struck out 38 times and walked just six in the last three games, and somehow won all three.

Anyway, Jeff Locke got through 5.1 innings, striking out three. He also allowed seven hits, including, remarkably, four in the fifth inning, without allowing a run. In the fifth, Matt Tuiasosopo and Brayan Pena led off with singles, and then Avisail Garcia singled, but Travis Snider threw out Tuiasosopo. Fister then singled to load the bases, but Locke got Omar Infante to ground into a force out and Andy Dirks to ground out to end it.

Vin Mazzaro, Tony Watson, Justin Wilson, Mark Melancon (who threw just eight pitches in his inning) and Bryan Morris (who threw seven) then took over and put up one zero after another. (Clint Hurdle did well to pull Locke with two men on in the sixth.) When the Tigers put in Luke Putkonen, a marginal minor-league type, in the 10th, I was excited. The Pirates didn't get to him immediately, but in the 11th, Neil Walker led off with a single, and then Putkonen walked Andrew McCutchen on four pitches. Then Gaby Sanchez hit an infield single, bringing up Russell Martin with no outs and the bases loaded. Martin did more than he needed to, hitting a long fly ball to left that nearly went over the wall.

And thus the Pirates took three of four from the Tigers. They're now 34-20.

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