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Pirates bullpen saves planet while dying in spectacular fiery crash

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USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates bullpen pitched 10 scoreless innings as the Bucs came back to beat the Reds on Travis Snider's walk-off single in the 11th.

The bullpen was forced into duty when Jeanmar Gomez allowed four runs in the first, then left following that inning with forearm tightness. Gomez allowed the first six batters to reach base, and the inning might have been a complete disaster if he hadn't gotten a sacrifice fly and a double play to end it. (Also in the first, Mat Latos hit Neil Walker with two outs, and both benches were warned.)

Vin Mazzaro came on and pitched three scoreless innings, though, and then Bryan Morris pitched three of his own. Meanwhile, Pedro Alvarez homered over the Clemente Wall in the second to make it 4-1, and Andrew McCutchen had an RBI single in the sixth.

Mark Melancon pitched the eighth with the Pirates down 4-2 and had an un-Melancon-like inning, loading the bases before striking out Shin-Soo Choo to end the inning. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Garrett Jones tied the game with a ridiculous two-run blast that hit the water on the fly.

The Pirates had Jason Grilli warming even before that, and he had a very Grilli-like ninth, striking out the side. Then Justin Wilson came on to pitch the 10th and 11th before the Pirates put two men on in the 11th for Snider, who hit the game-winning single to right field.

This was a Pyrrhic victory for the Pirates, but at least it was a victory -- it would have seemed like a disaster if the Pirates had lost Gomez and had the bullpen pitch 10 innings or more, only to lose. They got the win, but there will have to be multiple transactions before tomorrow's game in Atlanta. The Indianapolis bullpen is well-stocked with good arms, fortunately.