PITTSBURGH -- The Battlin' Buccos are certainly living up to their name.
The Pittsburgh Pirates trailed, 4-2, in the eighth inning in game three of the World Series before coming back to beat the Texas Rangers, 5-4, in eleven innings to secure their first Series win since 1979.
"This ballgame was a must win," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "So, late in the game, it was tantamount that we made some plays to keep us in this series."
|World Series Game Three
|PITCHERS OF RECORD|
|W - Evan Meek (1-1)|
|L - Darren O'Day (1-1)|
The Pirates made all the plays they needed when it counted most, starting in the bottom of the eighth. Facing Scott Feldman, who dominated Pirates' hitters all night in striking out 11, they got a one out single from Andrew McCutchen, who advanced to second on a throwing error.
Garrett Jones, like he's done all postseason, tied the ballgame with a monstrous two run homer to make it four-all. The Bucs nearly won it there, as Pedro Alvarez doubled, but was thrown out at home on a Ryan Doumit single.
Neither team threatened at all for the next few innings, with Evan Meek throwing three scoreless innings for the Bucs.
The Pirates sealed the comeback in the bottom of the eleventh. After an Alvarez strikeout, Doumit singled and was replaced by pinch runner Ronny Cedeno. Matt Diaz followed with a double down the right field line, but Cedeno was held at third with the Bucs not wanting to chance a situation similar to Alvarez in the eighth.
Neil Walker followed with a fly ball to center field, and Cedeno raced home to secure the win and give the Bucs new life in the series.
"It was huge being in front of the home crowd," Walker, a Pittsburgh native, said. "All we need to do is hold serve here at home, and we're set heading back to Texas."
If the Pirates want to hold serve, they'll need to cut down the K's, as they struck out a whopping 15 times, with trifectas from Alvarez, Diaz, and Jose Tabata.
"We've had contact issues all year," Hurdle said. "We'll look to address it as best we can, but as long as we end up with more runs than the other guys then we're okay."
Paul Maholm pitched 6.2 innings for the Bucs, giving up four earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six. Chris Resop and Joe Beimel combined for 1.1 innings of scoreless relief before Meek.
Nelson Cruz (2-5, R, 2 RBI) belted a two run homer to open the scoring in the first for Texas, while Feldman added an RBI in the seventh. They also scored on a bases loaded double play in the seventh inning.
The Pirates got on the board in the fourth inning, when Doumit (3-5, RBI) singled in McCutchen. They tied the game at two in the sixth with Alvarez (2-5, RBI) singling in Jones (2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI) following a Jones double.