CINCINNATI (AP) – Jordy Mercer singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday night, rallying the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in an NL Central rivalry game full of plunkings and ejections.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and left fielder Starling Marte were ejected in the middle of the sixth inning while disputing a play at second base. They were Pittsburgh’s first ejections of the season.
Marte was hit on the back of the left hand by a pitch from Alfredo Simon, the third batter plunked in the game overall. Marte tried to steal, but was tagged out by Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips. He was originally ruled safe, but the call was reversed on review.
Hurdle came out of the dugout to argue with the umpires and was ejected. Marte got his glove and started back onto the field and was ejected as he went past the umpires.
Andrew McCutchen, David Freese, Jung Ho Kang and Josh Harrison each hit solo homers, and the Pirates got their first lead on Mercer’s single off Ross Ohlendorf (3-4). Pittsburgh gained a split of the rain-shortened, two-game series.
Tony Watson (1-0) retired the side in the eighth. Mark Melancon gave up a single and a walk in the ninth while getting his 10th save in 11 chances.
Six batters were hit – four Pirates, two Reds – as the teams extended their history of plunkings. Over the last four seasons, the Reds have hit 43 Pirates batters (10 this season) and the Pirates have hit 41 Reds (five this season).
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