Bucs walk off on Bay's 13th-inning homer
Outfielder's solo blast gives Pirates much-needed win over Rays
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates got a much-needed quality start from right-hander Ty Taubenheim and Jason Bay smacked a 13th-inning walk-off home run, lifting the Pirates to a 4-3 win over Tampa Bay in front of 17,970 fans on Saturday night at PNC Park.
Bay's blast off Rays reliever Jason Hammel was his 16th home run of the season and snapped a two-game losing skid for the Pirates.
"It was a fastball out over the plate," Bay said. "It wasn't a situation where I was seeing the ball well all night and I was fouling off a ton of pitches and getting myself in bad counts, but I finally got a fastball I could handle and I didn't foul it off. I put a pretty good swing on it."
Taubenheim, called up from Triple-A Indianapolis as an emergency spot starter, overcame a 42-minute rain delay at the start of the game and some first-inning difficulty to hurl six innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and recorded four strikeouts. Taubenheim was credited with a no-decision.
"Ty set the tempo," Bucs manager John Russell said. "He threw the ball outstanding on both sides of the plate and he gave us the start we very badly needed."
Taubenheim was pleased that he could come in and contribute.
"It feels good," Taubenheim said. "Knowing that you have the confidence of the people up here. And when they need somebody else, hopefully they will turn to me when they need it."
Rays starter Edwin Jackson tossed 6 2/3 innings and surrendered three runs on six hits. Jackson also got a no-decision.
It looked like it was going to be a long night for Taubenheim. In the first inning, he threw four pitches and trailed 1-0. B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford had back-to-back singles and Upton scored on a sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria.
The Pirates tied the score at 1 in the bottom of the second inning. Ryan Doumit walked and advanced to third base on a double by Xavier Nady. Doumit scored on a groundout by Adam LaRoche.
Taubenheim helped his own cause with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. Jose Bautista led off the inning with a double and came in to score as Taubenheim picked up his first Major League RBI.
The Rays knotted the score at 2 in the top of the sixth inning. Eric Hinske led off with a double and came around to score on a one-out RBI single by Dioner Navarro.
Pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz delivered a two-out RBI double, knocking in LaRoche in the bottom of the seventh inning and giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
Tampa Bay came right back and tied it at 3 in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes' solo home run off Bucs lefty Damaso Marte. Gomes worked Marte for 15 pitches before going deep to left-center for his sixth home run of the season.
Right-hander John Van Benschoten, the sixth Pirates pitcher in the three-hour and 53-minute game, picked up the win with a scoreless inning in relief. It was Van Benschoten's first Major League win since 2004.
"It was definitely a good end to a dreary night at PNC Park," Van Benschoten said. "It was good because that was a grinder and it's really huge to win those games."
Hammel suffered the loss for Tampa Bay, falling to 3-3.
The Pirates bullpen tossed seven innings in relief and surrendered just one run.
"I think everybody pitched well," Russell said. "Other than the 15-pitch at-bat with Gomes with Marte, they all threw the ball outstanding. It would have been easy for Marte to fold and give up another run, and Matt Capps did a great job. T.J. Beam came in and really shut the door. John Van Benschoten hit a guy, which is not something you want to do late in the game, especially an extra-inning game, but found a way to get out of it. You just can't say enough about how we pitched."
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.