PITTSBURGH (AP) — Losing four of their past five games has made the Diamondbacks a bit testy.
Chris Young needed to be restrained after being ejected after Larry Vanover called him out on strikes and Justin Upton also was tossed during the seventh inning of the Diamondbacks’ 7-6 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday night.
“It’s just a big situation and my adrenaline was running and I just reacted to how I was feeling,” said Young, who was ejected for the first time in his six-year career. “With such a close game, I am passionate about winning and we are in a playoff race.”
Young came up with two outs in the seventh after Arizona had pulled to within 7-5 and loaded the bases on three Pittsburgh errors. He took a low fastball from Tony Watson and dropped his bat before Vanover gave the ejection signal.
Young angrily took his helmet off and almost slammed it to the ground before stopping himself. Manager Kirk Gibson jogged out and stood between him and Vanover, pushing Young back into the dugout.
“I think Larry is a really good umpire — I’ve always thought that — but at the moment, I didn’t agree with what went on in that at-bat,” Young said. “I have never gotten too amped up on the field, I have never blown up like that.”
Upton was on second base during the at-bat and was ejected by first base umpire Alfonso Marquez.
“I was walking off the field and I didn’t think that anyone was paying attention to me,” Upton said, “and I had some remarks about the pitch, and I didn’t say them to anybody. I guess either my lips got read because I was being watched or somebody heard what I said.”
Paul Goldschmidt and Willie Bloomquist had two RBIs each for Arizona, which took a 2-0 lead in the first and tied the game at 4 in the sixth.
A night after scoring seven runs in the eighth and ninth for a 10-4 victory, the Diamondbacks pulled to within two with a run each in the seventh and eighth. Bloomquist had an RBI single off Chad Qualls in the eighth, but Joel Hanrahan struck out the side in the ninth for his NL-leading 33rd save.
“We had a lot of opportunities the whole game,” Gibson said. “Ultimately, we didn’t cash in right there at the end, but it was a pretty intense game.”
Neil Walker homered and drove in five runs, and Kevin Correia won his seventh straight decision despite four Pirates errors.
“You never like to say … there’s such things as ugly wins,” Walker said. “But that was about as ugly as it gets tonight.”
In addition to the errors, the Pirates had a runner thrown out in a rundown between third and home. The final three innings of the game were played in a steady rain that included some lightning in the distance.
“We were probably longer on guts tonight than we were execution,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.
Ian Kennedy (10-9) was charged with six runs and eight hits in four innings. He had won his four previous starts.
Jordy Mercer hit his first major league home run and rookie Starling Marte homered for the second day in a row for the Pirates, who have the majors’ best home record at 35-17.
Walker hit a three-run homer in the first — his career-high 13th of the season — and added a two-run double in the fifth to give Pittsburgh the lead for good. His 65 RBIs lead NL second baseman and his home run total is tied for the NL lead among his position.
Walker finished with five RBIs for the third time in his career and second time this season.
Correia (9-6) was far from sharp in his temporary return to the rotation, but he was good enough to earn a win for the sixth consecutive start. He allowed three earned runs in six innings in his first start since the Pirates removed him from the rotation after they acquired Wandy Rodriguez.
Correia was openly disappointed when he was removed from the rotation and reportedly asked to be traded — he later backed off that demand. He allowed four runs in two innings of his only relief appearance since, and is expected to return to the bullpen.
“We’re here to please the people who make the decisions of when you get to play and when you don’t,” Correia said. “Obviously, I hadn’t pitched in a couple weeks in a start, and I still felt pretty good. … For the most part I felt like I had my pitches when I needed them.”
Marte led off the third with his fourth home run in 13 career games, and fellow rookie Mercer opened the sixth with a high home run down the left-field line that made it 7-4.
NOTES: The Diamondbacks used a lineup without regulars Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel, but both entered the game after the ejections of Young and Upton. … Despite the rain, the game was never delayed. … Before the game, the Pirates recalled LHP Jeff Locke from Triple-A and optioned OF Alex Presley to the minors. Locke was summoned for insurance against a bullpen that was shortened by Correia’s spot start. Hurdle said the team wanted to get Presley, the team’s opening day left fielder, some regular at-bats. … Diamondbacks C Henry Blanco had successful surgery in Phoenix on Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He is likely out for the season. … Arizona’s Joe Saunders (5-8, 3.57) faces Rodriguez (7-10, 3.82) in a matchup of left-handers in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.