PITTSBURGH (AP) -- No matter what interim manager Pete Mackanin
accomplishes in the Pittsburgh Pirates' final 26 games, he can't
prevent their 13th consecutive losing season.
Rookie catcher Ryan Doumit's errant throw on a rundown play in
the 12th inning got Pete Mackanin's managerial run in Pittsburgh
off to a losing start, a 4-2 defeat to Arizona that was the
Pirates' 82nd of the season.
While Arizona ended a five-game losing streak, the Pirates
dropped their fifth in a row, 10th in 11 games and 15th in 19 games
-- a slide that caused manager Lloyd McClendon to be fired earlier
in the day. Mackanin, a 13-year minor league managing veteran and
the bench coach, succeeds McClendon for the rest of the season.
"It would have been nice to win the first one," said Mackanin,
who was cheered by the small crowd before the game. "You do
everything you can think of to put guys in position to score some
runs, to have the pitchers out there who give you the best chance
of winning, and hope they pull it out."
As usual, they didn't.
The game-winning run came on a play that illustrated why both
teams have been stuck in long slides since several months into the
season, when both were playing .500 ball. The Pirates have lost
nine in a row at home, their longest streak since PNC Park opened
With Chad Tracy on second, Chris Snyder singled to right to end
an 0-for-21 streak. Tracy was halfway down the line at third when
he realized he would be out easily. As he scrambled back to third,
Doumit's throw struck him in the lower left shoulder and bounded
away, allowing him to score.
"It's been a while since I had one, and when I rounded first
and saw Tracy hung up in-between home and third," Snyder said.
"Fortunately for us the ball finally bounced our way. It was good
to come out on the winning end of one."
The Diamondbacks had runners on first and third and none out in
the 10th and couldn't score against Jose Mesa.
"I saw a lot of things I didn't like seeing -- we missed a hit
and run, we had a steal when we're not supposed to be stealing, a
lot of things that usually end up costing you games, but kept on
playing hard," manager Bob Melvin said.
Pirates rookie left-hander Paul Maholm, making his second start,
ran his start-of-career scoreless streak to 11 innings before
giving up Troy Glaus' RBI double in the fourth. Maholm pitched
eight innings in beating Milwaukee 6-0 on Aug. 30, in what turned
out to be McClendon's final win as manager.
Eldred's drive to center in the fourth ended an 0-for-21 slump
and was only his second hit in 37 at-bats. Wigginton's solo shot in
the fourth was his second homer in 12 games since returning to the
Pirates on Aug. 23 following 2½ months in the minors.
Maholm left after permitting five hits and two runs. He has a
1.20 ERA, allowing nine hits and two runs in 15 innings.
The 13 consecutive losing seasons are three short of the
major league record. The Brewers also could have a 13th losing
season in a row. ... Pirates LHP Zach Duke has been out since Aug.
23 with a sprained ankle, but was chosen as the NL rookie of the
month in August after going 3-0 over five starts. Duke expects to
start again this weekend in Cincinnati. ... Pirates batting coach
Gerald Perry began his eight-game suspension for shoving Cardinals
coach Dave Duncan during an Aug. 24 batting practice dispute. The
commissioner's office turned down his request to reduce the
suspension. ... RHP Josh Fogg won't leave the Pirates' rotation
after all; he was pulled after losing Friday to the Cubs, but will
start Thursday for the injured Dave Williams (rib cage strain).