Rookies Rodriguez, Peguero lift Pirates to win over Phillies
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Endy Rodriguez hit a go-ahead, bases-loaded triple and drove in four runs, fellow rookie Liover Peguero had a home run among his three hits and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 on Saturday night.
Rodriguez’s triple sparked a four-run fifth inning against Aaron Nola (9-7) that put the Pirates in front 7-4. Phillies center fielder Brandon Marsh was unable to make a play on the sinking liner and Rodriguez then scored on Alika Williams’ single, which was his first career hit.
Rodriguez smiled when asked if he likes to hit with the bases loaded.
“That’s the best part of the game because that’s where you get paid,” Rodriguez said with a smile through a translator.
Peguero hit a leadoff home run in the third, his second, to open the scoring.
“I feel like one thing we’re trying to do is trying to help each other, pass it to the next guy,” Peguero said of the Pirates’ young players. “It’s been showing up.”
Yet another rookie, Quinn Priester (2-1), won his second straight start despite allowing five runs and six walks in five innings.
Closer David Bednar entered the game in the eighth inning with the Pirates leading 7-5 and gave up a run-scoring single to rookie Johan Rojas. However, he got J.T. Realmuto to hit into a game-ending double play with runners on first and third for his 21st save.
Rookie third baseman Jared Triolo started the around-the-horn double play.
“We’ve said when you have a bunch of young guys that you want them to learn and contribute,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “All around, they played outstanding. They’re not scared. We know we’re going to make mistakes, but we also know they’re going to do things like tonight that really excite you.”
Bryson Stott had three hits for the Phillies, who entered the night leading the NL wild-card standings by percentage points over Cincinnati.
Nola was tagged for seven runs — five earned — and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He had won four of his previous five decisions.
The Phillies scored four runs in the fourth inning to move in front 4-1. Marsh ripped a three-run double to the gap in right-center and scored on Jake Cave’s double.
The Pirates got within a run in the bottom of the fourth as Rodriguez hit an RBI double and scored on a single by Peguero.
Kyle Schwarber drew a bases-loaded walk from Ryan Borucki in the sixth to draw the Phillies to 7-5.
Jack Suwinski, on his 25th birthday, had two hits along with Rodriguez and Ji-Man Choi for the Pirates, who have alternated wins and losses in their last nine games.
The Pirates had their first sellout since opening day with a crowd of 38,434.
PHILLIES WAIVE NAVY VET
The Phillies designated Navy veteran Noah Song for assignment before the game.
The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher was taken by the Phillies from Boston in the Rule 5 draft during the league’s winter meetings in December with hopes he would play after completing his military service.
If Song clears waivers, Boston will have the option of taking him back to its organization.
Song reported to major league spring training on Feb. 23 after the Navy granted his transfer from active duty to the reserves. Song hadn’t pitched in a professional game since Aug. 29, 2019, for Class A Lowell.
Song went 1-0 with a 7.36 ERA in eight games in stints with three of Philadelphia’s minor league teams while on the major league injured list with a lower-back strain. Song’s 30-day rehab assignment ended this week, forcing the Phillies to decide whether to add him to the active roster or expose him to waivers and offer him back to the Red Sox if he is not claimed.
TURNER DROPPED IN ORDER
Slumping Phillies shortstop Trea Turner was dropped to seventh in the batting order from his customary No. 2 spot. Turner entered the game in a 0-for-12 slump and is hitting .242 in his first season since signing an 11-year, $300-million contract as a free agent.
“I think he’s disappointed but not because he’s batting seventh but because he expects to produce more than he’s producing,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “He’s trying to do too much.”
Turner went 1 for 3 with a walk.
Thomson said he hopes Turner hitting near the bottom of the lineup will be only temporary.
“When he gets his stroke back and looks comfortable, I’ll put him back up there,” Thomson said. “I’ve said all along that I think our best lineup is with Trea hitting second.”
Phillies LHP Cristopher Sanchez (0-3, 2.98 ERA) starts in Sunday’s series finale against LHP Rich Hill (7-10, 4.82), who could be making his last start for the Pirates with baseball’s trade deadline approaching Tuesday.
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