PITTSBURGH (AP) - After making it through 60 games without losing when leading at the end of the seventh or eighth innings, the Arizona Diamondbacks' bullpen let them down for the second straight night.
Andrew McCutchen led off the 12th with a home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates reached .500 with a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
McCutchen took a 3-2 pitch from Zach Kroenke (0-1) high and just inside the left-field foul pole for his team-leading 10th home run - the second time he has ended a game with a home run.
``It was a slider, full count, we just were hoping he was cheating on the heater,' Kroenke said. ``Apparently he wasn't - he sat back on it and put good wood on it.
``He guessed right, I threw the wrong pitch apparently. It's a gamble, we took it and lost on it.'
McCutchen also scored the tying run in the 10th when he doubled off of closer J.J. Putz and scored when Neil Walker followed with a single.
``It was a good game. Both teams definitely had their chances and they were just able to capitalize with their last at bat,' Putz said. ``Tough one to swallow.'
So was Tuesday's series opener for the Diamondbacks. Daniel Hernandez was charged with five runs while not retiring a batter during the eighth inning of what was an 8-5 Pittsburgh win.
Arizona has lost three consecutive since going on an 18-4 run.
The Pirates evened their record this late in the season for the first time since also being 30-30 on June 11, 2005. Pittsburgh has won four of five and six of eight.
``We're .500 and that's about the significance of it to us,' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``It will have more significance later in season when we're 500. I understand the importance of it to the fans, though, when I'm walking the streets, having lunch, having dinner, doing things around the 'Burgh. I'm glad people are excited about it, but we don't want to be satisfied with being .500 in June.'
Daniel McCutchen (2-1) worked out of jams in both the 11th and 12th to earn the win in a game in which each team blew a save in the late innings.
``We had a chance to win the game,' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ``We had several opportunities in extra innings - we just didn't get it done.'
McCutchen had three hits, scored twice and had two RBIs. Jose Tabata had four hits for the second time in his career and scored Pittsburgh's first run.
The Diamondbacks' Stephen Drew entered the game in the eighth as a pinch-hitter and twice drove in Kelly Johnson with singles to account for the tying and go-ahead runs.
The usual cleanup hitter, Drew was not in the lineup against left-handed starter Paul Maholm. But he extended his hitting streak to five games when he lined a single in the eighth off of Jose Veras to tie the game at 1.
Two innings later, Johnson - another regular who was given the beginning of the night off but pinch hit in the eighth - again led off by reaching base, again was sacrificed to second and again scored on a single to center by Drew.
``The first at bat, I was like, 'Just get a pitch and put it out in the middle and hit it to left-center,' Drew said. ``I wasn't trying to do too much. Second at bat, the same thing with Johnson on. I wasn't trying to do too much, and it worked out.'
Until the bottom of the inning, that is, for Arizona, when Andrew McCutchen sliced a double just inside the foul line in right.
Good friends and fellow left-handed starters Zach Duke and Maholm both had strong outings but didn't earn decisions when a win would have meant either would be the all-time victories leader at PNC Park.
The Diamondbacks managed only one hit against Maholm in six shutout innings, and former Pirates teammate Duke allowed one run on nine hits in seven innings.
Maholm was in line to break a tie with Duke with 31 wins at the Pirates' 11-year-old ballpark.
``It was a good game because we both pitched well,' Maholm said. ``Zach did what he does. He gave up some hits but he also found ways to make big pitches to get out of some jams.'
Making his third start with the Diamondbacks after spending his first six seasons with Pittsburgh, Duke allowed 11 baserunners. Only one would cross home - on a McCutchen sacrifice fly in the third.
NOTES: Pirates C Chris Snyder left the game due to low back pain after sliding awkwardly at second trying to stretch a single into a double in the second inning. He was replaced by Dusty Brown and will be evaluated Thursday. ... Duke received a mixture of cheers and boos when he was announced to bat. ... Diamondbacks 1B Juan Miranda extended fully to make a diving catch on a line drive hit down the line by Walker in the eighth.
The Associated Press News Service
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