Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/4/14
Russell Martin led the late comeback with a double and a homer. Photo credit: David Hague The Pirates have had a small trend this year with late inning comebacks. They’ve struggled against starting pitchers, but have managed comebacks against opponents bullpens. That appeared once again in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates were riding a good start by A.J. Burnett, who went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Burnett struck out six and walked three. The only problem was the offense wasn’t there. Prior to the seventh inning, the Pirates had six singles on the night, with four of those coming with two outs, and one being erased by a double play. There was only one inning where the Pirates managed more than one hit. Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook wasn’t having a lot of trouble with the Pirates’ offense. Westbrook, however, was removed after six innings, throwing 91 pitches on the day. In came Joe Kelly, and the Pirates immediately capitalized. Pedro Alvarez tried to pull an outside pitch, and took it for a single up the middle to start off the frame. Russell Martin came up next and also saw an outside pitch. Rather than trying to pull it, Martin went the other way, launching his third homer of the year to tie the score. With Westbrook out, the Pirates needed just two batters to score two runs and tie the game. It wasn’t over there. Clint Barmes followed Martin with a single to right. James McDonald failed to bunt him over, fouling off a strike three bunt. After Starling Marte drew a walk, the Cardinals switched to Trevor Rosenthal. Rosenthal came in and had some immediate control problems. A wild pitch against Jose Tabata moved Barmes to third and Marte to second. Rosenthal loaded the bases by hitting Tabata with a 96 MPH fastball on a 3-2 count. The control problems continued against Andrew McCutchen, who battled with Rosenthal for an eight pitch walk, bringing in the go ahead run. Garrett Jones added some much needed insurance, grounding out to second to score Marte and put the Pirates up 4-2. One more insurance run came in the eighth inning. Martin started things off again with a double. Two batters later, Martin moved to third on a wild pitch by Fernando Salas. He scored the fifth run on a Gaby Sanchez sac fly. The bullpen came through once again for the Pirates. Tony Watson pitched a scoreless seventh, walking one and striking out two. Mark Melancon tossed a scoreless eighth, with one hit and one strikeout. Jason Grilli gave up his first run of the year in the ninth, thanks to an RBI double by Carlos Beltran, but converted his tenth save in ten attempts to give the Pirates a 5-3 win. Prior to this game, the Pirates have had some strong numbers at the plate late in the game. They’ve combined for an .816 OPS in the 7th inning this year, and an .833 OPS in the 8th inning. The only other inning where their OPS is over .690 is the first inning, where they have an .817 OPS. That first inning is heavily fueled by Starling Marte, who has a 1.577 OPS leading off the game. Removing Marte’s numbers, the Pirates have a .614 OPS in the first. The Pirates will need to do a better job against opponents starting pitchers. They can’t count on late comebacks every game. With that said, their late hitting has been excellent. They rank sixth in the majors with a .747 OPS after the sixth inning. The Atlanta Braves rank fifth with a .748 OPS. The late hitting is always welcome, but if the Pirates can start getting to a few starters, we could see even more impressive things from this 14-10 team.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls being deflated

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.