Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Inge's key RBI helps Pirates win

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA - Brandon Inge has made himself comfortable with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and on Wednesday night he was hitting in a situation that made him that much more so.

The 35-year-old Inge, playing just his second game since returning from the disabled list, pinch hit and drove in a run with a bases-loaded single in the eighth inning, as the Pirates rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

It was the second big hit in as many nights for Inge, who as a starter had an RBI double in Tuesday's 3-2 victory.

This time he was hitting with the bases full, a situation in which he has hit .326 with seven grand slams during a career now in its 13th year.

He said in such spots he tries to stay calm and focus on the pitcher, rather than worrying about the significance of the situation.

"One run is great," he said. "Anything beyond that is a bonus."

Roy Halladay pitched six innings of one-hit ball, and Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit solo homers for the Phillies, who led 3-1 after six innings.

But Pedro Alvarez, whose fourth-inning RBI single was the only hit Halladay allowed, hit a one-out homer off reliever Antonio Bastardo in the seventh, making it 3-2.

Mike Adams (1-2), who followed Bastardo to the mound, began the eighth by walking Pirates pinch hitter Jose Tabata. Starling Marte followed with an infield single, and Tabata barely eluded the tag of shortstop Jimmy Rollins after a pickoff throw by catcher Humberto Quintero. Travis Snider then bounced a single through the right side, scoring Tabata.

Andrew McCutchen walked, and Jeremy Horst replaced Adams. But Inge, batting for Garrett Jones, grounded the second pitch he saw from Horst -- a change-up -- through the left side of a drawn-in infield, giving Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead.

Inge had been activated from the disabled list Tuesday, after recovering from an injured right scapula. He had hit just .150 during an 18-game rehab assignment, but said he just treated that "like spring training."

"I don't care about my batting average," he said. "I just want to make good contact and work on my swing a little bit. It's something different when you come here and you're under the spotlight. You want to prove you're a good player and you can help out your team."

He's proven that, certainly, to manager Clint Hurdle.

"He's a ballplayer," Hurdle said. "He's been around awhile. That's why we got him."

It's also why Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was left scratching his head.

"I felt like we were in control of the game," he said. "Even after Bastardo gave up the home run to Alvarez in the seventh, I still thought we were in control of the game."

The Pirates tacked on an insurance run in the ninth, when, with two outs and a runner at second, Marte blooped a ball to short right field. Utley managed to get a glove on it after a long run from his position at second base, but he could not hold it. It rolled away, and Marte wound up with an RBI triple.

Vin Mazzaro (1-0) earned the victory with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Mark Melancon pitched a scoreless eighth, and Jason Grilli finished up for his ninth save in as many opportunities.

Halladay struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter in his six innings. He has yielded just four runs over his last 21 innings, after surrendering 12 in his first 7 1/3.

Utley and Howard hit solo homers off Wandy Rodriguez in the first and fourth innings, respectively. Pinch hitter Kevin Frandsen drove in a sixth-inning run with a single for Philadelphia.

Frandsen is now 4-for-9 with four RBIs as a pinch hitter this season, and the Phils are 13-for-37 (.351) in the pinch. They began the day leading the majors in pinch-hit RBIs (10) and extra-base hits (5).

Despite that, the Phillies had scored just 73 runs, fourth-fewest in the National League. In an attempt to awaken his team's offense, Manuel changed his lineup, moving Utley from third in the order to second and Michael Young from fifth to third. The Phillies also tried three hit-and-runs -- all of them successful to some degree -- and Utley legged out a bunt for a hit in the fifth.

Young went 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 14 games.

Utley homered with one out in the first inning, launching a 91 mph fastball from Rodriguez into the right field seats.

Halladay retired 11 straight Pirates after issuing a leadoff walk to Marte in the first. But with two outs in the fourth, Halladay walked Jones, then hit Neil Walker with a 2-2 pitch. Alvarez blooped an RBI single to center, Pittsburgh's first hit of the game, to forge a 1-1 tie.

In the bottom of the fourth, Howard homered on an 0-2 delivery from Rodriguez, a hanging curveball. It was just the second homer of the season for the Phillies' cleanup hitter, and his first in 13 games.

However, the Phillies left the bases loaded that inning, and they were unable to score after putting runners at the corners with nobody out in the fifth.

NOTES: The shutout by Pittsburgh rookie Jeff Locke and three relievers Tuesday night was the second the Phillies have suffered at home this year, and the third overall. Last year they were blanked just twice in 81 home games and six times overall. ... Phillies rookie right-hander Jonathan Pettibone, who pitched well in a no-decision Monday against the Pirates, is scheduled to make his second start Saturday in New York against the Mets. ... Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton, recovering from right elbow surgery, allowed one hit in four scoreless innings in a Tuesday rehab start for Double-A Altoona at Richmond. Morton, who earlier made a start in Class A, is scheduled to make another start for Altoona on Sunday.

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NFL $350K Baller [$50K to 1st] 15269/39773 $10 $350000 Tomorrow 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $40K Tournament [Single Entry] 3506/9091 $5 $40000 Tomorrow 1:00 PM Enter
NBA $6K Tournament [$600 to 1st] 2757/6818 $1 $6000 Today 7:00 PM Enter
View Comments (4)