PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Florida Marlins are starting to wonder why
they're the only opposing team in the majors that can't win
regularly in Pittsburgh.
Freddy Sanchez's opposite-field single in the 10th inning drove
in the winning run and the Pirates won a one-run game at home for
the first time this season, rallying to beat the Marlins 3-2
Pittsburgh was 0-7 at home and 3-11 overall in one-run games
before Jack Wilson doubled with two outs against Todd Jones (0-1),
moved up on a wild pitch as Ty Wigginton walked and scored on
Sanchez's single to right.
"He's a good hitter ... and he just got me," said Jones,
Florida's sixth pitcher. "If you're going to get beat, get beat on
a ball to right field and it's a single."
Rick White (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory
as the Pirates beat Florida for the seventh straight time at PNC
Park, even though they've won only eight of 21 in their own
ballpark this season. The Marlins are 1-9 in Pittsburgh since 2002.
Sanchez, a utility infielder, was 0-for-5 before his
game-winning hit, but he has seven hits while starting the last
four games. He is playing with nine stitches in his left wrist
after being struck by Felipe Lopez's broken bat while fielding
Lopez's game-winning infield single in Cincinnati on Friday night.
On that play, Sanchez ignored the bat that was streaking
directly toward him, risking a potential serious injury, to grab
the ball and try to make a game-saving throw to the plate.
"He's been a little spark plug for us," manager Lloyd
McClendon said. "He's showed a lot of guts the last few days. I
think he's been a real inspiration to everyone on this team."
In the 10th, Sanchez was trying only to make up for what he felt
were some wasted at-bats.
"I was trying to do something to get these guys going and my
first five at-bats I didn't help out at all," he said. "I'm just
fortunate I got that last at-bat. It had been a tough game for me
up until then."
Miguel Cabrera drove in two runs, but the Marlins dropped their
fifth in six games overall amid a slump that has seen them score
only 13 runs in five games.
Asked if the Marlins are cursed in Pittsburgh, manager Jack
McKeon said, "It ain't the city, how many games have we lost when
we've scored two or less runs?"
The Marlins are 2-14 when scoring two or fewer, including three
such losses in four games.
"Curse?" McKeon said. "The curse is on the bats when we come
The Pirates appeared to have wasted another effective start by
Mark Redman -- four hits and two runs over six innings -- before
scoring the tying run in the eighth. After a walk and Jose
Castillo's infield single, shortstop Alex Gonzalez dropped second
baseman Luis Castillo's relay throw on an apparent inning-ending
double play grounder by Wilson.
"I had to hurry up and I dropped the ball," said Gonzalez, who
committed his sixth error. "It's going to happen. Maybe not too
often, but it happened today."
Left-hander Al Leiter, in danger of losing his job in the
Marlins rotation, was effective as usual against the Pirates
despite walking five and throwing 108 pitches in five innings. He
allowed one run and four hits, including Ross' RBI double after
Daryle Ward's double in the second. In 10 career starts against
Pittsburgh, Leiter's ERA is 0.99.
The Marlins turned their first stolen base in 13 games, by Juan
Pierre after he singled leading off the game, into a run on
Cabrera's sacrifice fly. Cabrera also had a run-scoring double
following Matt Treanor's double in the third to make it 2-1.
Pittsburgh was once one of the majors' best Memorial Day
baseball cities, drawing a string of big crowds for holiday
doubleheaders in the 1960s and 1970s -- some with the unusual
starting time of 10:35 a.m. But chilly, wet weather early in the
day helped limit Monday's crowd to 17,379, and the Pirates have
drawn only 29,961 combined on Memorial Day the last two seasons.
Pirates relievers Brian Meadows, Mike Gonzalez and White
combined for four scoreless innings. ... The Pirates left 14 on
base. ... Ross' double was his first extra-base hit since May 4.
... Florida is 1-3 and Pittsburgh is 1-2 in extra innings. ...
Redman, a Marlins starter during their 2003 World Series
championship season, has allowed three earned runs or fewer in all
but one of 11 starts, yet has won only twice since April 12. ...
The Pirates had lost six of eight.