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Pitchers duel gets crazy late as D-Backs hold off Bucs

PHOENIX (AP) -- Luis Gonzalez has had a lot of big hits in his
Arizona Diamondbacks career. Few have traveled less distance than
his game-tying hit Monday.

Gonzalez had an RBI bunt single, Orlando Hudson drove in the
go-ahead run with an eighth-inning sacrifice fly and the
Diamondbacks held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Monday night.

Trailing by three, the Pirates loaded the bases with none out in
the ninth against closer Jose Valverde. After Ronny Paulino popped
out, Jose Castillo hit a two-run single to cut the deficit to one.
But pinch-hitter Jose Hernandez struck out and Nate McLouth flied
out to end it.

"We needed one hit but we put ourselves in that position
because we made mistakes and gave them four runs," said Pittsburgh
manager Jim Tracy.

Shawn Green walked leading off the Arizona eighth against Damaso
Marte (0-3), Damion Easley blooped a single to center and Johnny
Estrada advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt.

Hudson then hit a slicing fly to right field. Jeromy Burnitz
chased the ball to the line, but it bounced out of his glove for an
error as Green scored. Hudson was credited with a sacrifice fly.

"I firmly believe if the runner had had to tag it would have
been a close play given his momentum running toward the infield and
it wasn't a long throw to make," Tracy said.

Marte struck out pinch-hitter Tony Clark for the second out. But
Easley and Hudson scored when Marte fielded Craig Counsell's high
chopper to the right of the mound, spun and threw the ball down the
right-field line for a three-base error.

Brandon Medders (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win,
and Valverde got his 13th save in 14 chances.

Gonzalez tied the score with two outs in the seventh on his
first bunt hit in more than a year, pushing the first pitch he saw
from Marte down the third base line as Andy Green sprinted home.
Pirates third baseman Freddy Sanchez barehanded the ball halfway
between third and home but had no play at first.

"I asked (third-base coach Carlos) Tosca which way Marte fell
off the mound," Gonzalez said. "I saw him through a couple of
pitches to (Eric) Byrnes and thought I could get one down if the
third baseman was back."

Green led off the inning with a walk, went to second on a
sacrifice and moved to third on a grounder.

"(Tosca) told me to look for it," Green said. "That's pretty
good base coaching right there when he tells the base runner the
cleanup hitter might lay down a bunt."

Arizona manager Bob Melvin said the bunt wasn't called from the
dugout.

Jason Bay gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead when he drove Orlando
Hernandez's first pitch of the second inning about 12 rows up into
the left-field stands for his team-leading 10th home run.

Gonzalez's bunt hit negated a strong outing by Pittsburgh
starter Oliver Perez, who threw six scoreless innings. Perez
allowed four hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

The Diamondbacks loaded the bases against Perez in the first
when Counsell singled, Gonzalez hit a one-out double and Perez hit
Conor Jackson with a pitch. But the left-hander recovered to retire
Shawn Green and Easley to end the inning.

Hernandez, who left his previous start Tuesday after two-plus
innings with a back strain and sore knee, gave up six hits over
seven innings and let just one runner other than Bay reach third
base. Hernandez walked three and struck out nine, matching his
season high.

"He threw a good game and kept us off balance," said Sanchez,
whose 12-game hitting streak was snapped. "He kept me off
balance."

Game notes
Gonzalez's bunt single was his first since April 4, 2005.
... Perez has pitched into the seventh inning once in nine starts.
... The game was played in front of an announced crowd of 18,103,
the second-smallest crowd in Chase Field/Bank One Ballpark history
by 85 people. ... The crowd cheered when the Suns-Clippers playoff
game was shown on the video board during the seventh-inning stretch
and booed when the Diamondbacks came to bat and the basketball game
was turned off. ... Bay has hit safely in 18 of 19 games in May.
... The Diamondbacks turned a double play in the third inning to
extend their club record of games with a DP to 13. ... Arizona 3B
Chad Tracy was out of the lineup for just the second time this
season with the left-handed Perez on the mound.