Pirates 3, Phillies 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Esteban Loaiza won in his major league debut and the Pittsburgh Pirates won for the first time this season, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Saturday night.
The Phillies closed within a run in the eighth against reliever Mike Maddux. Philadelphia Jim Fregosi also thought the tying run scored on a close play that ended the inning, and was ejected after arguing with plate umpire Mark Widlowski.
Loaiza gave up five hits and one unearned run in five innings. He walked none and struck out two.
Loaiza was 10-5 for Double-A Carolina last season. He also singled in his first at-bat in the majors.
In the eighth, Gregg Jefferies had an RBI forceout that pulled the Phillies within 3-2. With runners on first and third, Dave Hollins grounded to first baseman Mark Johnson, who stepped on the bag and then threw to shortstop Jay Bell, who tagged out Jefferies.
Fregosi argued that Lenny Dykstra, who had been on third base, had crossed the plate before Jefferies was tagged.
Jim Gott pitched the ninth for a save.
Johnson, who also made the jump from Double-A to the majors this year, gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the second with his first big-league hit, a home run that easily cleared the right-field fence.
The homer came off Tyler Green (0-1), and it represented the first lead of the season for the Pirates, who lost their first three games.
Pittsburgh went up 2-0 in the third when Jeff King’s sacrifice fly scored Bell, who had singled to open the inning.
The Phillies made it 2-1 in the fifth. Kevin Stocker reached when second baseman Nelson Liriano threw wildly on a double-play relay. Stocker ended up at second and scored on pinch-hitter Tony Longmire’s single.
But Pittsburgh got that run back the next inning off reliever Andy Carter when Orlando Merced homered to right field.
Loaiza used a number of off-speed pitchers to keep Philadelphia hitters out of sync. Aside from the run Stocker scored, no Philadelphia runner reached third.
Green, a late spring addition to the Phillies rotation after injuries to Tommy Greene and Bobby Munoz, gave up six hits and two earned runs in five innings.
The Phillies announced an attendance of 27,530 at 62,238-seat Veterans Stadium.
Notes: Loaiza, making his major-league debut, had family support. His father, mother and grandfather were at the ballpark. Loaiza and his father were pitchers on a semi-pro team in Tijuana, Mexico, in the late 1980s. Loaiza also caught his father in several games. ... In the Pirates first three games, Merced started at three different positions: right field, left field and first base. ... Darren Daulton, drafted by the Phillies in 1980, has been with the same organization longer than any other player in the National League.