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Gonzales Delivers Walk-Off Win After Pirates Mount 9th-Inning Comeback Against Giants

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Pittsburgh Pirates' Nick Gonzales celebrates as he crosses home plate after hitting a two-run home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Colin Rea during the second inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, July 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH — After the Pittsburgh Pirates erased a four-run deficit in the ninth inning, Nick Gonzales delivered a 7-6 walk-off win against the San Francisco Giants in the 10th inning.

On the first pitch he saw agaisnt Erik Miller (0-2), Gonzales drove a single up the middle to plate automatic runner Michael A. Taylor from second base.

It was the first-career walk-off for Gonzales, who was recalled by the Pirates earlier this month. The Pirates’ second baseman has already driven in nine runs this year through his first 11 games.

It marked the first time since 2008 that the Pirates have come back from trailing by at least four runs in the ninth inning or later and came back to win.

After Jared Triolo walked in the ninth to load the bases, Ji Hwan Bae singled home a run to bring the tying run to the plate. Andrew McCutchen followed Bae’s single by bouncing one to shortstop Marco Luciano, who couldn’t make a clean play which allowed everyone to move up 90 feet and a run to score.

With one out, Bryan Reynolds bounced into a 6-4-3 fielder’s choice to bring the Pirates within a run. Oneil Cruz then delivered a clutch two-out double to right field to plate the tying run. The two-bagger came off the bat at 121.5 mph, which is the hardest hit ball in MLB this season. Cruz set the season record earlier in the game with a 120.4 mph single and added a 116.3 mph double earlier in the game. He became the first player in the Statcast Era to have three hits of 115.0-plus mph in a single game.

David Bednar (3-3) pitched a scoreless 10th inning and got the win.

With two outs in the first inning, Wilmer Flores skied a fly ball to shallow left. Shortstop Cruz called off left fielder Jack Suwinski but the ball kicked off his glove and landed in the outfield grass. Both runners scored, giving the Giants an early 2-0 lead.

In the fifth, Pirates starter Martín Pérez surrendered a two-run home run to Thairo Estrada. Estrada drove in his third run of the game in the top of the eighth on a ground out to short with Marco Luciano on third base. 

Pérez worked 4.1 innings and allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. May has been a difficult month for the veteran Pérez, who has an 8.24 ERA since the calendar flipped. 

Two innings later, Matt Chapman crushed a solo homer to center off of Luis Ortiz, who entered the game in relief of Pérez. 

In the second at-bat of his season debut, Bae drew a walk with one out in the fifth and quickly stole second base. After moving to third on an infield single from Andrew McCutchen, Bae scored after Reynolds legged out a potential double play ball. 

It marks the second time in the Statcast Era that a player had two hits of 116-plus mph in the same game and the second time Cruz has done it. The hard-hitting Cruz also accomplished the feat on May 13 when the Pirates played the Brewers in Milwaukee. 

Jared Triolo drove in the Pirates’ first run on a hard-hit sacrifice fly to center in the second inning. 

Giants starter Logan Webb held the Pirates to a pair of runs across six innings and struck out six batters. 

Up Next

Rookie Jared Jones (3-4, 2.89 ERA) will be on the mound for the Pirates (23-26) in the second game of the series on Wednesday night. Blake Snell (0-3, 11.57 ERA), who is expected to be activated off the IL, will start for the Giants (23-26). First pitch: 6:40 ET.

Housekeeping

  • Yasmani Grandal was removed from the game with left groin discomfort.
  • Ji Hwan Bae was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis prior to first pitch and Ryder Ryan was optioned.
  • The Pirates announced their 2024 Hall of Fame class on Tuesday — Manny Sanguillen, Barry Bonds and Jim Leyland.

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