PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kevin Newman isn’t afraid of the big moment.
Newman drew a game-winning walk in the 11th inning to help the Pittsburgh Pirates rally from a three-run deficit in the 11th inning to beat the San Diego Padres 11-10 on Sunday.
The rookie second baseman was down 0-2 in the count with two outs before he took four straight balls from Matt Wisler to win the game. The Pirates scored four runs in the inning. That came after they scored three in the ninth to tie the game at 7 to walk away with a series sweep.
“It’s a big situation, but I try not to think of it in that it’s more than it really is,” said Newman, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games. “It’s him against me. Two strikes. I can’t control anything else. I’m just trying to go up there and battle.”
Melky Cabrera started the rally with a sharp line drive to right that scored Bryan Reynolds. With Cabrera at second and Josh Bell on third, Jacob Stallings hit a pitch-hit, two-run single to tie the game at 10. Cabrera, who is not exactly known for his speed around the basepaths, raced around third and slid head-first into home to beat the throw from Wil Myers.
“When you take a look at that third base coach and he’s sending you, you’ve just got to do anything possible to make it,” said Cabrera through a translator. “Thank God I was able to score for the team.
“(The slide) felt like I was swimming at the beach,” he added with a laugh.
Francisco Liriano (2-1) earned the win, while Wisler, who entered the game with one out in the 11th, took the loss.
“At the end of the day we scored one more run than them,” said manager Clint Hurdle. “It’s one of the best wins that I’ve watched in nine years here, for sure.”
After San Diego led 7-4 following an eighth-inning, two-run single from Manny Machado, closer Kirby Yates allowed three runs on three hits and a walk. Yates, known to be one of the best closers in baseball, hadn’t blown a save in 26 opportunities this season.
“It happens,” Yates said. “If I blew a save and we came back and win, I’d do that a 100 times. We didn’t. It sucks. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”
With runners on second and third, Newman started the comeback with an RBI single off Yates that scored Diaz. Reynolds drove in Adam Frazier, and Cabrera scored Newman on a dribbling ground-out to the pitcher two batters later to force the extras.
Pirates starter Steven Brault lasted five innings, giving up three runs (three earned) and six hits. Joey Lucchesi gave up four runs (four earned) and six hits on 86 pitches (56 strikes) over five innings.
Fernando Tatis Jr. drove in a pair of RBIs and scored three runs. He tied the game in the sixth inning with an RBI single off Clay Holmes, and later scored on a two-out RBI single to right from Eric Hosmer as the Padres pulled ahead 5-4.
Tatis Jr. went 3 for 4 with two walks, but it was the rookie’s legs that put the Padres on the board first. After reaching third, Tatis Jr. tagged up on Hunter Renfroe’s pop-fly at the edge of the outfield grass near second base, and snuck his left arm just past Dîaz’s outstretched glove to swipe home plate. He was initially ruled out, but the play was overturned after an official review.
The win Sunday marked Pittsburgh’s third rally in five games. On June 19, the Pirates came back from a six-run deficit to beat the Tigers, 8-7. And on Saturday, the resilient bunch stormed back for a 6-3 win over the Padres after trailing in the fifth.
Pirates: General Manager Neal Huntington told reporters before the game that Francisco Cervelli “could very well” begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Cervelli has not been medically cleared from the concussion he suffered on June 21.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.12 ERA) will start on Tuesday as the Pirates begin a three-game series with the AL West-leading Astros.
Padres: LHP Logan Allen (1-0, 0.00 ERA), coming off seven scoreless innings in his first major league start, will take the mound against Baltimore on Tuesday to begin a two-game set.
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