Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) pauses on the mound with catcher Jeff Mathis, left, just before Greinke is taken out in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Phoenix. (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
Originally published Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 04:25p.m.
PHOENIX — Jordy Mercer homered and had three RBIs, Jameson Taillon pitched seven effective innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates avoided a sweep with a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
The Pirates blew a five-run lead in the opener and were knocked for 13 runs in the second game. Pittsburgh ended Arizona's sweep bid with a four-run second inning against Zack Greinke (5-5) and a sterling performance by Taillon (4-5).
Taillon gave up a two-run homer to David Peralta in the first inning when the ball popped out of left fielder Austin Meadows' glove and over the wall. Taillon worked out of a jam in the second inning and allowed two runs on six hits to help end Arizona's five-game winning streak.
Felipe Vazquez gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Jon Jay in the ninth before striking out Jake Lamb with the bases loaded for his 12th save.
Taillon has enjoyed pitching in the afternoon, entering Wednesday's game 8-2, including 3-0 on the road before the sun goes down. He got an unfortunate break in the first inning, when Peralta's deep shot caromed out of Medows' glove as he leaped near the wall.
Taillon struck out Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded to end the second inning and struck out four.
Greinke has been dominant at Chase Field the past two seasons, going 16-1 with 2.53 ERA at Chase Field since 2017.
Arizona's ace struggled with his command against the Pirates, walking four while striking out seven. Greinke walked two in Pittsburgh's four-run second inning, giving up a two-run double to Mercer and a run-scoring double to Josh Bell. Mercer hit a solo homer in the fourth to put Pittsburgh up 5-2.
Greinke was lifted after walking two in the fifth to load the bases with two outs. He allowed five runs on five hits.
Arizona reinstated C Jeff Mathis from paternity leave and optioned RHP Braden Shipley to Triple-A Reno. Mathis' wife, Jenna, gave birth to their second daughter on Sunday.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli returned to the lineup after missing three games while being monitored for post-concussion symptoms. He was struck on the mask by a foul ball Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.
Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (strained right oblique) is expected to throw about 50 pitches in his rehab start with Single-A Visalia on Thursday.
The Pirates have a day off before right-hander Chad Kuhl the Cincinnati Reds Friday at home. Kuhl is 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA in four career starts against the Reds.
Arizona RHP Matt Koch is 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA his past three starts heading into Thursday's game against the New York Mets.