PITTSBURGH – Jean Machi has been playing professional baseball in the United States since 2002 when he pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies’ team in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
Yet the beefy right-handed reliever, now with the San Francisco Giants, had never been asked to bunt until the 13th inning Monday night. Not only did he successfully execute get the bunt for a sacrifice, but caused Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jared Hughes to rush a wide throw to first base.
The error enabled Hunter Pence to score from second base and give the Giants an 11-10 victory.
“I saw (Hughes) got a late break off the mound and slipped and I knew I had to run hard,” Machi said through a translator. “I was excited because I did my job. They wanted me to move the runners up and I did that.”
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said he was confident the 182-cm, 116-kg Machi could bunt despite the lack of experience.
“Looks are deceiving in his case,” Bochy said. “He’s a lot more athletic than he looks.”
The Giants overcame a six-run deficit to run its winning streak to a season-best six games and also win for the 10th time in 11 games while sending the Pirates to their 18th loss in 23 games.
Hughes (1-1) came on to start the 13th with the score tied at 10-10. With one out, he walked Pence and hit Juan Perez with a pitch to put runners on first and second base.
Machi (5-0) then dropped down his bunt and wound up tied for the major league lead in victories with three starting pitchers: the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Zack Greinke, St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright and Toronto’s Mark Buehrle.
Giants backup catcher Hector Sanchez had four hits and three RBIs, while Buster Posey, who got a day off from catching and played first base, had three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs. Pence finished with three hits and scored four times and Angel Pagan also had three of San Francisco’s 20 hits. Michael Morse drove in two runs with a pair of doubles.
Posey forced extra innings when his RBI single in the ninth off Mark Melancon tied it at 10.
Machi pitched two scoreless innings and Sergio Romo worked the 13th for his 10th save.
“It’s just one of 162 games and at the end of the day it’s about playing hard, playing to the end and never giving up,” Pence said.
The Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen had four hits and Pedro Alvarez homered and drove in four runs.
Pittsburgh went ahead by six runs, 8-2, after scoring four times in the fifth inning but couldn’t hold on.
Cardinals 4, Braves 3
In Atlanta, Matt Carpenter’s two-run double in the fifth inning helped carry St. Louis past the slumping Braves, who shook up their lineup but still lost their seventh in a row.
Desperate for more offense, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez batted pitcher Aaron Harang eighth and put second baseman Ramiro Pena in the ninth spot. Pena had two hits, including a seventh-inning homer that brought the Braves within a run, but they couldn’t overcome a 4-0 deficit.
Taking advantage of shaky defense, Carpenter doubled in two runs and Matt Holiday followed with a run-scoring single. Peter Bourjos had an RBI single in the sixth to extend the Cardinals’ lead.
Shelby Miller (4-2) got the win and Trevor Rosenthal earned his ninth save. Harang (3-3) took the loss.
Marlins 4, Mets 3
In Miami, Casey McGehee hit a sharp grounder that caromed into right field off the back of reliever Gonzalez Germen’s foot, allowing the winning run to score, as the Marlins rallied late from a three-run deficit to beat New York.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a tying double in the eighth off the Mets’ Daisuke Matsuzaka, who failed to retire any of the five batters he faced in relief of Jonathon Niese. Giancarlo Stanton had an RBI single and Miami scored another run on shortstop Omar Quintanilla’s fielding error in the eighth.
Christian Yelich led off the ninth with a single off Scott Rice (0-1). He advanced to second on Ed Lucas’ sacrifice. Germen intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton before McGehee got his RBI single.
Marlins closer Steve Cishek (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
Nationals 4, Dodgers 0
In Washington, Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer in the first inning, and — thanks to an odd-moving storm that produced an interminable rain delay — the Nationals didn’t finish off Los Angeles until some six hours later on Tuesday morning, gaining sole possession of first place in the NL East.
Jordan Zimmerman pitched four shutout innings before the game was halted, and five relievers threw an inning apiece after play resumed. In between, there was a delay of 3 hours, 17 minutes while a narrow, cigar-shaped storm took its time soaking D.C. and not much else.
As it was, Aaron Barrett (2-0) got the win, Zack Greinke (5-1) got a hard-luck first loss of the season and Danny Espinosa added a two-run homer in the eighth.
Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 0
In Milwaukee, Carlos Gomez hit a home run and drove in three runs to lead the Brewers over Arizona.
Martin Maldonado and Jean Segura also homered for Milwaukee, which had lost four of its last five entering the game. The Brewers still have the best record in baseball at 22-11.
Milwaukee remained the only team in baseball to not lose when scoring at least four runs, improving to 18-0 in those games.
White Sox 3, Cubs 1 (12)
In Chicago, Marcus Semien hit a tiebreaking RBI double in a two-run 12th and Jose Quintana allowed one hit over seven innings, as the White Sox beat the Cubs.
Quintana and five relievers combined on a four-hitter, and the White Sox came away with the win after dropping four straight and six of seven to their crosstown rivals. The winning rally started when Alexei Ramirez singled off Justin Grimm with two out and stole second. Tyler Flowers walked, and Semien lined a 1-1 pitch over third baseman Mike Olt’s head to make it 2-1.
Grimm (1-1) plunked pinch hitter Paul Konerko on the left arm to load the bases and walked Alejandro De Aza to make it a two-run game.
Blue Jays 3, Phillies 0
In Philadelphia, Jose Reyes hit a leadoff homer and J.A. Happ allowed three hits over five innings as Toronto defeated the Phillies.
Facing his former team, Happ (1-0) walked four and pitched out of trouble often in his first start of the season. The left-hander was filling in for injured righty Brendan Morrow. Four relievers finished off the seven-hitter.
Kyle Kendrick (0-3) lost his eighth straight decision, dating to last season. He gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.
The Phillies failed to go two games above .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 2012. They are 0-4 in those situations this season.
Rockies 8, Rangers 2
In Denver, Troy Tulowitzki homered twice and Jordan Lyles pitched eight strong innings as Colorado routed Texas.
Nolan Arenado also homered to extend his hitting streak to 25 games. It is the longest in the majors this season.
Tulowitzki had his first multi-homer game of the season and the ninth of his career. He hit a two-run shot off Rangers starter Martin Perez in the fifth and hit another two-run homer off reliever Shawn Tolleson to give Colorado a 7-1 lead in the seventh.
It was more than enough for Lyles (4-0), who came within three outs of the second complete game of his career.
Padres 6, Royals 5 (12)
In San Diego, Will Venable hit a two-run single in the 12th inning to give the Padres a win over Kansas Citys.
Venable singled off Tim Collins (0-2) and over the head of right fielder Lorenzo Cain to score Chris Denorfia with the tying run and Yonder Alonso with the winning run from second base.
Mike Moustakas hit an RBI single in the 12th off Tim Stauffer (1-0) to give the Royals a brief lead.
Jedd Gyorko’s solo homer with one out in the ninth inning off Royals closer Greg Holland tied the game at 4-4. It was Holland’s first blown save in eight chances.
Kansas City’s Norichika Aoki was 1-for-5 and scored once.
Tigers 2, Astros 0
In Detroit, Max Scherzer allowed just three hits and struck out nine batters over eight innings, leading the Tigers past Houston for their season-high sixth straight victory.
Rajai Davis broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the seventh and Victor Martinez hit a solo homer in the eighth. Catcher Alex Avila threw out two runners in the late innings for the Tigers, who have the best record in the AL.
Houston (10-22), which has the worst record in the majors, has lost three in a row.
Scherzer (4-1) earned his fourth straight win.
Twins 1, Indians 0 (10)
In Cleveland, Eduardo Escobar homered to lead off the 10th inning against Cleveland closer John Axford, giving Minnesota a win.
Escobar, who entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh, connected on a 1-0 pitch from Axford (0-3), driving it over the wall in right for his first homer since June 20 and fourth of his career in 344 at-bats.
Caleb Thielbar (2-0) pitched a perfect ninth and Glen Perkins struck out two in the 10th for his eighth save.
Mariners 4, Athletics 2
In Oakland, Stefen Romero hit his first major league home run to break a deadlock in the fifth inning as Seattle beat the Athletics for its third straight victory and eighth in 10 games.
Chris Young (2-0) allowed two hits over six strong innings to win his second straight start.
The right-hander faced the minimum through three and didn’t allow a hit until Jed Lowrie’s one-out single in the fourth. Brandon Moss hit a tying two-run homer two batters later.
Scott Kazmir (4-1), off to the best start in his career, was tagged for eight hits and four runs in six innings.
Angels 4, Yankees 1
In Anaheim, the Angels scored three runs off five straight walks in the eighth inning after Jered Weaver escaped a based-loaded jam with no outs in the top half as Los Angeles defeated New York.
Yankees relievers Shawn Kelley (0-2), Matt Thornton and Preston Claiborne walked six overall in the eighth, the most walks in an inning by New York since 1990.
Weaver (3-2) allowed a run and six hits in eight innings, struck out seven and walked one.
Weaver bounded off the mound pumping his fist and shouting in excitement after getting Derek Jeter to ground into an inning-ending double play in the eighth.
The Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki was 1-for-3 with a run scored.