PHOENIX - If Pittsburgh's modus operandi looked familiar, that is because it was. Pittsburgh pulled a Diamondbacks on the Diamondbacks Thursday night.
The Pirates received a quality start from left-hander Dave Williams, turned three double plays and hit three home runs for a 6-2 victory before 18,906, the second-smallest crowd in Bank One Ballpark history.
All in all, it was a lot like the way D-Backs got to 17-12.
But Williams clamped down on the D-Backs, who got only one hit after Luis Gonzalez’s RBI single tied the game at 2 in the third inning. They also committed two errors in a game for the first time this season, one leading to a run.
"It wasn't our most inspiring effort of the year,'' manager Bob Melvin said. "It had a funny feeling from the get-go. For whatever reason, it just felt like kind of a down night, which is going to happen from time to time. "I'm not saying it was something where we let down or anything like that. There are some days when it is tough to get things going, and it seemed like today was one of them.''
Jason Bay, the NL Rookie of the Year in 2004, started things with a 455-foot home run off the Jumbotron in center field against D-Backs starter Shawn Estes in the first inning, the ball striking the board just above the batter's eye on the left-field side. Bay hit a 452-footer off Casey Fossum here last Aug. 18.
Jack Wilson and Jose Castillo hit bases-empty homers, Castillo's giving Pittsburgh a 6-2 lead in the seventh off newcomer Kerry Ligtenberg, making his first appearance after being purchased from Triple-A Tucson earlier in the day.
Castillo, activated Thursday after suffering a strained oblique muscle on the second day of the season, singled and scored in the fourth and tripled off the center-field fence to drive in a run in the fifth.
Williams gave up five singles and walked three as the Pirates (11-16) won their third straight "He mixed up his pitches well and started throwing a little bit harder as the game progressed,'' said Royce Clayton, whose first-inning single drove in a run.
"He lulled us to sleep, and before we knew it, it was deep in the ballgame and we couldn't get anything going. Tonight we didn't give our pitcher much of a chance to win.''
Craig Counsell doubled to lead off the first before scoring on Clayton's single, but Clayton was erased on a double play started by second baseman Castillo.
Williams helped himself by starting double plays in the second and the sixth, both times after the D-Backs put the leadoff runner on.
Counsell reached on an error and scored on Gonzalez's single in the third, but Williams struck out Troy Glaus and got Luis Terrero on a comebacker.
The D-Backs got only one more hit, Counsell’s leadoff single in the eighth.
Estes gave up five runs, four earned, and 10 hits in 5 innings, his shortest outing of the year. The unearned run scored when center fielder Quinton McCracken misplayed a fly ball in the wind and had it glance off his glove for an error in the third, and Craig Wilson followed with a single.
"I didn't keep our team in the game for long enough,'' Estes said. "Some days you get it done without your best stuff, battle through it. "I battled as much as I could, but I made some bad pitches. Sometimes they get themselves out. Sometimes they don't. Tonight they didn't.''