Rodríguez’s late blast ends ‘peculiar’ streak


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Rick Sofield congratulates Sean Rodríguez after his go-ahead ninth-inning home run. - GETTY

PHILADELPHIA -- With the piercing flight of Sean Rodríguez' three-run, pinch-hit homer, the Pirates did something Tuesday night they hadn't pulled off in more than two years: Win when trailing after eight innings.

Rodríguez' game-turning shot, his career-high 13th of the year, prevented the Pirates (70-73) from losing their fifth in a row and second straight at Citizens Bank Park. They had dropped 140 consecutive games, including 65 this year, when behind entering the ninth.

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"That's good to know," Rodríguez said. "Good streak to break. I like it."

Prior to that late turnaround against Jeanmar Gómez -- which began with a Francisco Cervelli walk and a Jordy Mercer double -- the Pirates were on the verge of squandering a terrific start from Iván Nova, who struck out 11 in six innings, at one point retiring eight of nine Phillies that way.

The only runs Nova allowed were on Adam Frazier's error in the fourth and when first base umpire Alan Porter obstructed Frazier as the rookie tried to get to the bag to catch Mercer's attempted double play relay in the sixth. Clint Hurdle was ejected in the aftermath of that controversy.

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