Walker 3 RBIs power D-backs to 8-3 win over Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates' Rodolfo Castro (14) and Connor Joe (2) celebrate after scoring on a double by Tucupita Marcano off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh on Sunday, May 21, 2023. (AP)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Christian Walker had three RBIs, hitting a two-run double in a three-run seventh inning that powered the Arizona Diamondbacks to a series win with a 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

Ketel Marte had a two-out RBI single in the seventh, extending his on-base streak to 21 games, and scored with Corbin Carroll on Walker’s double for a 7-3 lead. Walker added a run-scoring single in the ninth.

Arizona has won seven of nine, including the final two games of the series after losing the opener 13-3.

“You look inside of the game, it’s just quality approach after quality approach,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “It took everything we had. Everybody contributed today. It was a good win.”

Pittsburgh committed three errors and threw five wild pitches, falling to 4-13 in May after a 20-9 start.

“We made a couple of careless errors that cost us a run,” manager Derek Shelton said. “You do that and then they’re really athletic so they’re going to take extra bases, whether it’s stealing or because of our miscues.”

Merrill Kelly (5-3) gave up three runs and three hits in five innings.

Kelly didn’t allow a hit through 4 1/3 innings and led 3-1 before Pittsburgh tied the score on Tucupita Marcano’s two-run double in the fifth. Connor Joe broke up the no-hit bid with an infield single to short before going to third on Rodolfo Castro’s single. They both scored when Marcano sliced his double to right.

“The pitch to Joe, a two-strike changeup that I just couldn’t get below the zone,” Kelly said. “The pitch to Castro, just yanked a two-seam on the other side of the plate that I was trying to go to. Then the pitch to Tucupita, it was just a changeup down the middle of the zone. They were just able to capitalize on those pitches that inning.”

Arizona went ahead 4-3 in the sixth on consecutive errors. Ke’Bryan Hayes skipped a throw past first baseman Carlos Santana on Walker’s grounder to third, and reliever Dauri Moreta (1-1) skied his throw over Santana on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s dribbler that went for an infield single.

“We took advantage in some key situations,” Lovullo said. “It was a day game in Pittsburgh where we had to come out early. We felt very good about our plan and our ability to maybe execute to score some runs. They gave us a couple extra outs and we took advantage of it. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of our guys.”

Carroll hit his seventh homer in the first on a hanging slider. Kelly threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the second but Arizona went ahead on a run-scoring wild pitch in the third by Roansy Contreras, who allowed three runs, three hits and three walks in five innings.

Pavin Smith boosted the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single in the fifth.

“Basically, not good command of my fastball today and that’s what got me in trouble,” Contreras said. “It’s a game where errors happen. Sometimes we have good days and bad days. You just have to battle until the end.”


Diamondbacks: LHP Tommy Henry (1-1, 5.00) will take the mound Monday as Arizona travels across Pennsylvania to start a three-game series against the Phillies.

Pirates: RHP Luis Ortiz (0-2, 5.63) will start Monday in the first game of a three-game set against the Texas Rangers.