Starling Marte Homers Again, Pittsburgh Pirates Climb Within 2.5 of NL Central Lead

By Troy Pfaff

After dropping Tuesday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and missing out on a chance to gain a whole game on the National League Central-leading Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates bounced back with a win Wednesday to climb to within 2.5 games of the division lead.

Neil Walker essentially won the game for the Bucs with a five RBI night including a three-run home run and a two-run double.

Left fielder Starling Marte homered for the second game in a row and now has four dingers in 13 career Major League games.

Short stop Jordy Mercer hit the first home run of his career and Travis Snider and Garrett Jones also got in the offense with two-hit nights.

Kevin Correia made a start for the first time since before the July 31 Trade Deadline. The righty lasted six innings and gave up three earned runs off six hits with five strikeouts and three walks. He extended his winning streak to six straight decisions, though that’s been spread out since June 29.

Closer Joel Hanrahan converted his NL-leading 33rd save of the year to clinch the 7-6 victory for Pittsburgh.

Tonight, the Pirates close out the Diamondbacks series with a 4:05 PM game.

Wandy Rodriguez will make his third Pirates start, facing off against Arizona’s Joe Saunders.

A win tonight for the Pirates coupled with another (would be five straight) Reds loss would leave the Pirates just 1.5 games back of the division lead, a number that seemed nearly out of reach a few days ago when the Reds had won 17 of their last 19 games, including two against Pittsburgh.

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