Pirates hold off Orioles 9-8

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm •  Published: May 21, 2014
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Things didn't get much better, but the bullpen briefly recaptured its touch.

Vin Mazzaro's worked 3 1-3 innings of hitless relief to steady things after Rodriguez made a mess of things during 1 2-3 poor innings.

The veteran left-hander has struggled with his command and his conviction all season and did little to convince Hurdle he was ready to turn the corner despite being spotted a 4-0 first-inning lead thanks in part to a two-run triple by Marte.

The 35-year-old Rodriguez, in the final year of his contract, promptly gave the big lead away as Cruz led off the second a blistering solo home run and added a two-run double later in the inning to put the Orioles in front.

Rodriguez's throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Tillman meant he was only charged with one earned run for his 1 2-3 innings of work, dropping his ERA from 6.84 to 6.75.

Hurdle said it was too early to discuss whether Rodriguez would make his next start, though Rodriguez insists he's healthy after missing time early this season with a left knee injury.

Tillman couldn't take advantage of the reprieve. Coming off a shutout win over Kansas City in his previous start, Tillman only managed to get three outs.

He failed to retire a batter in the second as the first six Pittsburgh batters reached base. Brad Brach came on in relief to get out of the inning, but not until after the Orioles trailed 8-6.

NOTES: Pirates closer Jason Grilli could return as early as Saturday. Grilli has been on the disabled list since sustaining a left oblique strain on April 20. He threw 20 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday without incident ... The Orioles sent LHP Wei-Yin Chen back to Baltimore ahead of the team on Wednesday as a precaution due to concerns over weather in Pittsburgh. Chen (5-2, 3.69 ERA) is scheduled to start on Thursday against Cleveland. ... The Pirates begin a four-game series with Washington on Thursday. Edinson Volquez (1-4, 4.71) starts for the Pirates against Washington's Blake Treinen (0-1, 0.77).