Josh Harrison hits walk-off blast in 4-3 win over Marlins

Justin K. Aller

The Pirates beat the Marlins 4-3 thanks to Josh Harrison's walk-off solo homer in the ninth.

Before that, it was a game that no one seemed to want to win. The Marlins got one on a sacrifice fly by Henderson Alvarez in the second, then two more on four straight singles off Jeff Locke in the third. The Pirates tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by Andrew McCutchen and a triple by Pedro Alvarez.

After that, though ... nothing. Locke walked two batters in the sixth and got pulled after 5.2 innings, striking out four and walking three. Vin Mazzaro stranded both runners, but ran into trouble in the seventh, when he loaded the bases on two singles followed by an error by Alvarez. Non-hitter Jeff Mathis came to the plate with two outs, though, and flied out. (There was a very close foul ball down the line in there, too, and a huge diving catch by McCutchen -- the seventh inning could have been awful for the Pirates.)

Tony Watson pitched a scoreless eighth, and then the Pirates had their chance. Starling Marte walked, and then Neil Walker got an infield single when Chad Qualls couldn't handle his bunt. (At least he didn't trip and tumble over it.) After Mathis' passed ball, the Marlins intentionally walked McCutchen, bringing up Alvarez with the bases loaded and no outs. But Alvarez struck out looking on a fastball from Mike Dunn, and then Russell Martin followed by grounding into a double play.

Finally, in the ninth, the Marlins sent Dunn out again, and he threw three straight fastballs to Harrison, who blasted off to end the game. It was only Harrison's second homer of the year, not that he's had many opportunities to hit them. The Pirates moved to 24 games (!!!) above .500 with the victory, and until the Cardinals' game against the Dodgers ends later tonight, the Bucs are up 2.5 games on the NL Central.

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