Wigginton homered for the first time as a member of the Pirates and scored another run on a massive collision at the plate to lead Pittsburgh to its fourth straight win, 7-1 over the reeling Arizona Diamondbacks.
Wigginton lowered his shoulder and drove his head into Hill’s jaw, knocking off both the catcher’s helmet and mitt. But he missed the plate as the ball sailed untouched to the backstop. Wigginton quickly stood, took two quick steps to touch home and walked to the dugout with blood streaming down the back of his head behind his right ear.
“It’s part of the game,” said Wigginton, who was 2-for-4 after entering the game 6-for-45 since coming to Pittsburgh from the New York Mets before the trading deadline.
“He was blocking the plate and I felt it was the best way to score and get us another run,” he said. “It’s too bad he had to go and get injured.”
Hill finished the inning, tagging Castillo to end a 5-2-5-2 rundown for the first out, but left before the top of the fifth—and X-rays revealed a broken right ankle. He’ll be re-evaluated Wednesday.
“It was bang-bang,” Hill said. “The ball was right there and he came in hard and did his job. I was all over the plate. He really had no other place to go. I was trying to help my team out. He was trying to help his team out. And you got two guys playing hard, and they ran into each other.”
Wigginton remained in the game and drove in a run during the Pirates’ three-run fifth that gave Pittsburgh a 6-0 lead. Tike Redman also had an RBI single in the inning, extending his career-best hitting streak to 11 games.
The Pirates took a 2-0 lead in the second when Craig Wilson led off with a homer into the balcony overhanging the center-field wall, and Wigginton hit his first with the Pirates three batters later.
Ryan Vogelsong (4-9) scattered six hits over seven innings for the Pirates, who won for the eighth time in 10 games. He allowed one run and struck out four in his longest outing since May 8 against Los Angeles, a span of 11 starts and 16 appearances.
“I was just trying to get ahead and make them put the ball in play,” Vogelsong said. “The defense played well behind me. They hit the ball hard but they were able to suck them up.”
Luis Terrero hit his first major league homer for the Diamondbacks, who lost their sixth straight at home and have dropped 16 of 17 overall. Arizona is 7-35 under interim manager Al Pedrique.
Stephen Randolph (2-3) pitched three innings in his first major league start for Arizona after 89 straight relief appearances. He allowed two runs on four hits, struck out three and walked three.
“It was fair at best,” Randolph said, grading his start. “I got deep in some counts, left some balls over the plate and put our team in a hole early.”
Terrero’s homer in the fifth off Vogelsong made it 6-1.
Rob Mackowiak hit a pinch-hit RBI triple in the eighth for the Pirates.
After the game, Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon announced Kip Wells’ scheduled start Wednesday would be delayed for precautionary reasons. Wells experienced some discomfort after throwing on the side earlier in the week, and will throw another sideline session Wednesday. Highly touted prospect John Van Benschoten will be recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game and will start against the Diamondbacks. … The Pirates are 31-19 since losing 21 of 25 from May 30 to June 25. … Pedrique let Randolph bat leading off the third, then pulled him after the inning. Pedrique said before the game Randolph would be on a 65-pitch limit and the left-hander needed 64 pitches—33 strikes—to get through his three innings. … Randolph became the club-record 11th different starter for Arizona this season.