PITTSBURGH (AP) — Rookie Jack Suwinski hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Saturday.
Bryan Reynolds led off the ninth with a single against Mark Melancon (1-6), who blew his second save in 13 opportunities. Suwinski then lofted a flyball into the right-field stands on the ninth pitch of the at-bat for his first career game-ending hit and sixth home run of the season.
“It was awesome. Cool experience,” Suwinski said. “That’s the stuff you think about playing Wiffle Ball in your backyard. That’s my first time doing that, so it was pretty cool. Pretty special.”
Suwinski leads NL rookies in home runs. It has been an impressive showing for the 23-year-old right fielder, who was called up from Double-A Altoona in April in an emergency situation when Reynolds had a one-day stint on the COVID-19 injury list.
“I’m super thankful and grateful for them to give me the opportunity in the first place and then to let me stick around long enough to get comfortable and make adjustments and see what kind of player I am at the big league level,” Suwinski said.
The homer spoiled an outstanding effort by Arizona starter Zach Davies, who pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, struck out six and walked two.
Chris Stratton (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth in his 200th career appearance.
Davies retired 18 batters in a row starting in the second inning until walking Tucapita Marcano with two outs in the eighth.
“He was keeping hitters off-balance, and that’s what hitting is, trying to stay on-balance and have good timing,” Suwinski said. “He was doing a good job of mixing spots and speeds and location.”
The Pirates loaded the bases before Ian Kennedy relieved Davies and struck out…