Outstanding at-bats by Lastings Milledge and Garrett Jones produced a walk and a single in the ninth inning tonight. That boosted the Pirates past the Reds, 5-4, for their second straight walk-off victory.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Milledge faced closer Francisco Cordero, owner of 254 career saves. When the count went full, Milledge stepped out to collect his thoughts.
“I told myself, ‘He’s got to come to me. He’s in trouble. I’m not in trouble,’ ” Milledge said. “I was looking for a ball right down the middle. If it wasn’t there, I wasn’t going to swing. He didn’t give it to me.”
The bases-loaded walk forced in Church to make it 4-4.
Jones, hitless in his first three at-bats, fell behind 0-2 against Cordero. Jones took three balls, then fouled off — barely — an inside fastball.
“I just got enough to foul it off,” Jones said. “I really had to concentrate, see the ball deep and stay focused. Nice, short swing.”
The next pitch was another fastball, and Jones mashed it off the right-center field wall. It went down as a single, which is all the Pirates needed.
— Starter Daniel McCutchen worked four innings, allowed three runs on four hits and walked three. He was recalled yesterday from Triple-A Indianapolis when right-hander Ross Ohlendorf (back spasms) went on the 15-day disabled list.
Ohlendorf’s DL move was back-dated, so he could be activated as early as April 27. The Pirates will use a four-man rotation until April 24, when they again will need a fifth starter. Manager John Russell said righty Brian Burres, who filled in for Ohlendorf last Monday, will remain with the team as a long reliever.
— Andy LaRoche, who’s day-to-day due to back spasms, was rested and will be out again Sunday.
— Right-hander Hayden Penn cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis. Penn has until Monday to either accept the assignment or become a free agent.
— Andrew McCutchen was caught stealing in the seventh inning. It was his first time caught in seven attempts, and the Pirates’ first in 12 attempts.
— Hitting coach Don Long changed his uniform number to 5.