PITTSBURGH(AP) During another horrid ninth inning by a bullpen that can't be trusted with a lead of any size, manager
probably thought he was watching yet another game get away from the Indians. Maybe his job, too.
Only this time, and the Indians aren't exactly sure how they pulled it off, this late-inning meltdown didn't wind up as a
homered and drove in three runs to support rookie
's eight shutout innings and the Indians halted a six-game losing streak, overcoming their latest bullpen collapse to beat
the slumping Pirates 5-4 on Tuesday night.
The Indians, who blew a pair of five-run leads and a seven-run lead during their losing streak, led 5-0 going into the ninth
before nearly giving up another big lead. The Pirates scored four times and loaded the bases before
, who homered to start the comeback, flew out to right field on a 3-2 pitch by
to end the game.
''We knew we weren't going to get the W the easy way,'' Wood said. ''It was ugly, but we got it done.''
And they didn't. LaRoche was mad at himself for swinging at ball four, although he barely missed connecting on the pitch.
''When we're in a stretch like this, you know it's going to take a ball bouncing your way or something going your way,'' Wood
said. ''They had me on the ropes, and he just as easily could have not swung at that, walked him and tied it up. I feel like
we got a little help with that last at-bat.''
For one of the few times, Cleveland had power, starting pitching and defense in the same game, one that began amid speculation
Wedge's job might be in jeopardy. The Indians dropped seven of eight to fall a season-low 13 games below .500 and they came
precariously close to another bad loss.
''Got the last out,'' a relieved Wedge said. ''That's the important thing.''
returned from a three-week stay on the disabled list with an inflamed elbow to hit a two-run triple during a four-run second
(2-8) that included Peralta's two-run single. Sizemore also made an excellent over-the-shoulder catch of
's drive to the warning track in the fourth.
''The triple, the catch in center field, you could feel his energy out there,'' Wedge said. ''We're a different ballclub with
him in the lineup, no doubt about it.''
Except for that bullpen.
replaced Huff and immediately gave up LaRoche's 10th homer and
' pinch RBI single. Wood allowed
's RBI double and rookie
's run-scoring single, which ran McCutchen's hitting streak to 11 games, before walking
to load the bases.
''We were dead the whole game,'' LaRoche said. ''We've had so many games go into the seventh, the eighth with four or five
hits, and it's not against
pitchers. We've got to do more damage early and not rely on getting the setup guy and the closer every night.''
Despite the comeback, the Pirates lost their fifth in a row and sixth in seven games to slide eight games below .500 for the
first time this season. That's one reason the first interleague matchup in Pittsburgh since 2003 between the two rival cities
drew 19,109, less than half PNC Park's capacity of 38,496.
The Pirates had only one extra-base hit, Wilson's double in the fifth, among their four hits against Huff (3-2), who struck
out two and walked two in the longest of his nine career starts. His previous high was 7 1-3 innings against St. Louis on
By contrast, Snell - coming off his first victory in 11 starts - couldn't make it out of a 50-pitch second inning in which
he yielded three hits and walked three. Snell lost his sixth in seven decisions, throwing 41 of 70 pitches for strikes while
yielding four runs and four hits in 2 2-3 innings.
''He really hasn't been very good all season,'' manager
Notes: Peralta homered leading off the sixth against
. ... Despite allowing two hits and walking two in two-thirds of an inning, Wood was credited with his ninth save in 13 opportunities.
... Cleveland is 4-9 in interleague play, Pittsburgh is 4-6. ... The Pirates' 67-109 record is the worst since interleague
play began in 1997.