Marte homers in return to majors; Arizona's Gibson reaches milestone
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Kirk Gibson moved past Bob Melvin for the most managerial wins in Diamondbacks history on Thursday thanks to the unlikeliest of heroes.
Andy Marte had been waiting four years for a return to the big leagues and made the most of it with a pinch-hit, two-run homer that helped Arizona get past the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-4, in the opener of a four-game series.
"It feels great to be back," Marte said.
Arizona traded away regulars Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado on Thursday, and one of the open roster spots was filled by the 30-year-old Marte, who had been stuck in the minors since a failed stint with the Indians in 2010 but was hitting .330 with 13 homers at Triple-A Reno before being called up.
Nick Ahmed hit his first career homer and Aaron Hill added a solo blast in the Diamondbacks' third victory in four games.
Gibson walked into the media interview room for his postgame comments soaked from a beer shower.
"We'd like to do those type of celebrations [when we] win a world championship," Gibson said. "It was an interesting day today. Tough day for us all, and to kind of cap it off that way, it's certainly a day I'll remember."
Neil Walker went 2-for-4 with a solo homer while Russell Martin drove in two runs for the Pirates, who have dropped two in a row.
Martin gave the Pirates an early lead in the second inning when he short- hopped the wall in right-center to drive in Walker and Ike Davis.
Davis could have gotten Jeff Locke out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth, but the first baseman dropped Pedro Alvarez's low throw from third, and Mark Trumbo and Jordan Pacheco came around to score on the error.
"[Locke] had a chance to get out of the fourth. We were in position to put the inning away," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "That's a catchable ball. [Davis] has played a lot of first base and has caught that ball before. He didn't catch it [this time] and nobody felt worse about it than he did."
Pacheco singled in Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth, and Walker cleared the wall in right-center to even things again in the sixth.
Walker's homer ended Josh Collmenter's outing having allowed three runs on four hits and two walks. Oliver Perez (2-1) recorded the final two outs in the sixth and wound up collecting the victory.
Locke (2-3) surrendered Marte's go-ahead blast to left with Ahmed on base and was shown the showers after Hill followed two batters later with his ninth homer of the year.
Andrew McCutchen inched the Pirates within 6-4 with an RBI single in the seventh, but Ahmed took Stolmy Pimentel deep in the eighth and Addison Reed closed the door in the ninth for his 27th save.
Gibson passed Melvin's 337 win total ... Marte became the eighth player to hit a home run in his first at-bat as a Diamondback ... Walker matched his career high with 16 homers ... Locke was charged with six runs -- four earned -- on nine hits ... Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison, who had homered in each of his previous four games, struck out four times.
08/01 03:02:28 ET