PHOENIX (Ticker) --
is becoming the last hitter in the
' lineup opposing pitchers want to see at the plate with runners on base.
Simon belted a three-run homer off
with one out in the 12th inning to lift the struggling Pirates to an 8-5 victory over the
Although he is batting over .300 this season, Simon is just 17-for-67 with the bases empty. The first baseman excels with runners on base, batting .357 (20-of-56) in those situations.
Mantei (3-2) walked
with one out before
reached on an infield single. Simon, who was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts lifetime against Mantei, drove the first pitch down the right field line for his fourth home run of the season.
"It was a slider," Simon said. "I was just trying to put the ball up in the air and get the run in. That is all I was thinking about."
"That is the big hit we have been looking for quite a while," Pittsburgh manager
said. "Our offense has been pretty anemic for the most part. It is nice to see someone hit a three- run homer."
Simon angered Mantei when he stood in the batter's box and watched the ball go into the stands. Mantei and Simon exchanged words and both teams were warned by the umpires, but they managed to patch things up after the game.
"He showed me up a little bit and I called him on the phone and he apologized and said, 'I didn't mean to show you up, I just got caught up at the moment,'" Mantei said. "I said that it was classless on my part to yell at you and I apologize. That was classless and I consider myself to be a classy guy on the field."
"The bullpen was shaky early but Sauerbeck, Boehringer and Williams really shut it down," McClendon said. "That is the way we thought our bullpen could pitch."
Pittsburgh, which squandered a 5-0 lead, had lost 11 of its previous 13 games. The Pirates snapped a six-game road losing streak and won for just the the third time in their last 16 visits to Bank One Ballpark.
"We have lost our share of those games, more then a few," McClendon said. "Usually we have shot ourselves in the foot to make it happen. Tonight we battled back."
opened the game with his 26th career leadoff homer, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. He tied Florida's
for the longest streak in the National League this season.
The Diamondbacks lost the opener of a 10-game homestand and have dropped consecutive games following a season-high three-game winning streak.
"Good things happened out there but unfortunately the one bad thing happened at the end," Arizona manager
said. "I thought Matt was electric. His stuff is so good but big league hitters hit good pitches and that was the case with Simon."
helped his own cause when he doubled with one out in the third. He went to third when Lofton reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch by
for a 2-0 lead.
Simon opened the fourth with an infield hit and went to third on
grounded out to score Simon and Wells singled with two outs to plate Kendall for a 4-0 cushion.
The Pirates took a 5-0 lead on
' single in the fifth, but the Diamondbacks responded with three runs in the bottom half.