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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 6:46 pm

Walker's bloop single gives Pirates 2-1 win

The Associated Press

Neil Walker's two-out bloop single fell near three players in shallow center field and drove in Clint Barmes with the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 Wednesday.

The Pirates, who won two games in the three-game series with Arizona, got back-to-back two-out singles from Barmes and Andrew McCutchen in the eighth off Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson before Walker's hit off reliever David Hernandez.

Chris Resop and Tony Watson combined to pitch a scoreless eighth inning, and Juan Cruz earned his second straight save after allowing a leadoff single in the ninth.

The Diamondbacks went ahead 1-0 after leadoff man Willie Bloomquist tripled and scored on Jason Kubel's single in the first inning, the 10th game of 12 overall this season in which Arizona has scored in the first inning. The Diamondbacks turned three double plays in the first four innings.

Hudson (1-1) allowed both Pirates runs on six hits, including a solo home run to Pedro Alvarez in the top of the seventh, over 7 2-3 innings. Hudson struck out five and walked three in his best start of the season to date, but was tagged with the loss.

Pirates starter James McDonald lasted four innings and threw 78 pitches. Brad Lincoln, making his first major-league appearance of the season, relieved and tossed three shutout innings, striking out four and escaping a jam in the sixth with a double play with runners at first and third and one out.

Alvarez entered the game batting .042 with one hit in 24 at-bats. His home run was his second, and second hit, of the season.

Diamondbacks rookie A.J. Pollock made his major-league debut, batting seventh and playing center field in place of Chris Young, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a bruised right shoulder. Pollock went 0-for-3 with a walk, was caught stealing when he overslid the second base bag in the seventh inning and hit into the last out of the game.

NOTES: The Pirates placed RHP Jeff Karstens on the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday's game, due to right shoulder inflammation. The club recalled Lincoln from Triple-A Indianapolis, where he was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings. . Karstens (0-1 in three games) started Tuesday's game but left after one inning due to the injury. . RHP A.J. Burnett (orbital bone surgery) is expected to make a fourth rehabilitation start Saturday with Double-A Altoona. . All five of the Diamondbacks' losses this season have been by a single run. . Hudson's loss was the first for a Diamondbacks starting pitcher this season. ... Arizona OF Justin Upton was used as a pinch runner in the ninth, though he is unable to hit due to a left thumb injury.