The Pittsburgh Pirates can thank their bullpen as well as some much-needed offense for being in position to sweep a three-game series at Chase Field for the first time.
Pittsburgh (3-5) won 5-3 on Monday, as four relievers combined to allow one run over 6 2-3 innings after starter Wandy Rodriguez left in the third inning with tightness in his left hamstring.
The bullpen yielded one run over the final four innings Tuesday as the Pirates held on for a 6-5 victory after James McDonald had trouble throwing strikes and lasted five-plus innings.
Pittsburgh totaled eight runs before heading into the desert for this series. Garrett Jones is 4 for 9 with a homer and three RBIs in the first two games while Starling Marte is also 4 for 9 to stretch his run of multihit efforts to four.
"We've got some guys that can hit and they're going to hit. We're not going to hit .120 all year long," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We got some balls to hit, so we feel like we can compete in the box, stretch out some at-bats, and we've been able to do that the last couple of nights."
Arizona (5-3) committed two errors and went 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position Tuesday.
"All in all, it was a game we didn't play very well in," manager Kirk Gibson said. "We didn't execute when we needed to and they did. They out-executed us and their (relievers) came in and pounded us hard late in the game."
The Pirates' lone three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks was at home from Sept. 17-19, 2010. Pittsburgh's only sweep in Arizona was two games from Aug. 25-26, 1998.
Sanchez (0-1, 5.40 ERA) lost his lone start against Arizona last year while with San Francisco, allowing five runs over four innings in a 6-3 loss July 23. The Giants had won his previous seven starts against the Diamondbacks, with Sanchez going 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA.
Sanchez's seven career wins over Arizona are his most against any team. Diamondbacks cleanup hitter Miguel Montero , who drove in three runs Tuesday, is 5 for 12 with two homers against him.
The Pittsburgh left-hander gave up three runs over five innings Friday in his club debut, a 3-0 road loss to the Dodgers.
He'll be opposed by Wade Miley (1-0, 1.50), the runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting a year ago. The left-hander allowed one run over six innings Friday to earn a 3-1 victory at Milwaukee.
That outing came after the Diamondbacks shut him down after he posted a 7.43 ERA in the spring.
"He wasn't progressing like we wanted him to when we shut him down," Gibson said. "He'd have time to come back. I thought he would be way sharper, and he was."
Miley is 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates.
Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker , off to a 2-for-24 start, is 0 for 5 versus Miley.
|April 09, 2013||Wandy Rodriguez||Day-to-Day||Left game - left leg strain|
|March 26, 2013||Brandon Inge||15-Day DL||Right scapula soreness|
|March 22, 2013||Francisco Liriano||15-Day DL||Fractured right forearm|
|March 22, 2013||Jeff Karstens||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|March 22, 2013||Charlie Morton||15-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|March 20, 2013||Chase d'Arnaud||60-Day DL||Left thumb surgery|
|March 31, 2013||Didi Gregorius||15-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|March 27, 2013||Willie Bloomquist||15-Day DL||Strained right intercostal|
|March 27, 2013||Willie Bloomquist||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|March 22, 2013||Cody Ross||15-Day DL||Left calf strain|
|March 22, 2013||Adam Eaton||15-Day DL||Left elbow strain|
|February 18, 2013||Daniel Hudson||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
PHOENIX (AP) -- Since his days at Notre Dame ended and he turned pro, A.J. Pollock had rarely hit a home run and never two in a game.
He was a slugger on Wednesday, though, knocking two over the left-field wall off Jonathan Sanchez to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 10-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates .
Pollock began the day in an 0-for-14 rut. He also made a diving catch in center field to rob Andrew McCutchen in the first inning as the Diamondbacks salvaged the third game of the series after dropping the first two.
Wade Miley (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Sanchez (0-2) was charged with nine runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. The last two of those runs came after Sanchez left and reliever Chris Leroux walked two batters, on four pitches each, with the bases loaded in the Diamondbacks' four-run fourth.
Pollock, a long shot to make the opening day roster before spring training injuries to Adam Eaton and Cody Ross , hit a three-run homer in the second and a leadoff shot in the fourth. He had two home runs in 81 big league at-bats last season and only 14 in three seasons in the minors.
But, manager Kirk Gibson said, Pollock has some power, especially against left-handers.
"You get the ball up like that on him and he has the ability to hit it out of the ballpark," Gibson said.
Pollock said he has more pop in his bat than people think.
" For me, hitting home runs is not about power," he said. "It's about hitting the ball correctly and your approach at the plate. It's 340 feet down the line. It's not like you need to hit it 600 feet to hit it out. It's more about getting the right pitch and taking the right swing in the right count."
Pollock was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He was 3 for 17 (.176) entering the game and hadn't gotten a hit since opening day.
"Just a hunch I had," Gibson said.
It made the manager look like a genius. Pollock doubled down the left-field line with one out in the first, then took off trying to steal third while Sanchez still had the ball. Instead of what should have been an easy out, Sanchez threw wildly to third and Pollock scored.
It set the stage for what was to follow.
"You make a baseball play in the first inning, I don't know how (the game) turns out," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It has a chance to be different, though. We make a throw to third, we get the out there, who knows?"
Sanchez was nowhere near as effective as he was in his first start, when he allowed three runs and five hits in five-plus innings in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers .
"We have 30 starts out of the year," he said. "We're going to have bad outings and we're going to have good outings. You've just got to focus on the next one."
Martin Prado followed Sanchez's error with a walk, advanced to third on Paul Goldschmidt 's single and scored when Miguel Montero grounded out. Alfredo Marte brought home the inning's third run with a two-out double.
In the second, there was more trouble for Sanchez. Josh Wilson reached on a walk and Gerardo Parra singled before Pollock homered into the left-field seats to make it 6-0.
Miley, runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting last season, had his second strong outing in as many tries.
"I was getting ahead of guys early," he said. "I went to the slider a couple of times. Mainly it's about getting ahead and controlling at-bats. They were putting the ball in play, and the defense was making plays."
Miley retired 10 in a row after Starling Marte opened the game with a double. The string ended when McCutchen walked with one out in the fourth. Gaby Sanchez singled and Josh Harrison had an RBI single.
Pollock's second homer made it 7-1. Sanchez walked Goldschmidt and gave up a one-out single to Montero before getting pulled by Hurdle.
Leroux came on and promptly walked three straight. Another run scored on Miley's groundout and Arizona led 10-1 through four innings.
NOTES: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill got a day off after being hit in the left hand by a pitch Tuesday night. X-rays were negative and he hopes to return Friday night. ... The Pirates, 2-4 on their road trip, return home to open a weekend series against Cincinnati on Friday. Arizona has Thursday off, then begins a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. ... Starling Marte had a hit to lead off all three games against Arizona.