Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Highly touted third baseman Pedro Alvarez lofted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Cleveland Indians, 5-3, in the rubber match of a three-game interleague series at PNC Park.
Down 3-2, the Pirates pulled even on a Rafael Perez wild pitch in the seventh and moved ahead in the next frame.
Jensen Lewis (2-2) walked Andrew McCutchen to start the eighth, and Garrett Jones lined a single to center field. Tony Sipp replaced Lewis after Lastings Milledge dropped down a sacrifice bunt and yielded the Alvarez fly ball to right field that scored McCutchen with the go-ahead run. Jason Jaramillo then walked, and Bobby Crosby singled home Jones to make it 5-3.
Octavio Dotel tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th save.
Crosby had three hits for the Pirates, who snapped a season-high 12-game losing streak on Saturday. Pittsburgh won consecutive games for the first time since May 31-June 1.
Rookie Pittsburgh starter Brad Lincoln gave up three runs one eight hits in six innings.
Brendan Donnelly (3-1) pitched out of a jam in the top of the eighth and was credited with the win. Donnelly got into trouble after Austin Kearns hit a leadoff single and Russell Branyan ripped a double down the right-field line. Pirates manager John Russell argued the ball was foul and eventually was ejected by home plate umpire Paul Emmel.
The veteran right-hander retired the next three batters to escape unscathed.
Rookie catcher Carlos Santana clubbed a two-run homer and stroked an RBI double for the Indians, who have dropped six of seven. Justin Masterson allowed two runs on five hits and fanned seven in his six-inning start.
Shin-Soo Choo drew a one-out walk in the first and Santana homered to right field to give the visitors an early 2-0 lead.
The Pirates quickly erased their deficit in the bottom of the inning with the help of two errors. Jose Tabata led off with a single and took second on an errant throw.
After a base hit by Neil Walker put men on the corners, McCutchen hit a high chopper back to the mound. Masterson fielded the ball and made a low throw that eluded the first baseman Branyan, scoring Tabata. Jones then grounded a single up the middle to plate Walker tie the game at two.
Cleveland moved ahead in the third when Choo was hit by a pitch and came home on a Santana double.
Jones extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games…The Tribe has not won a series in Pittsburgh since 1997.