Smith, Escobar lead Diamondbacks over Pirates 4-2

Jul 19, 2021, 10:15 AM | Updated: Jul 20, 2021, 12:07 am

PHOENIX (AP) — Caleb Smith pitched 6 2/3 stellar innings, Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer for the second straight game and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 on Monday night.

It was a nice bounce-back outing for Smith (3-6), who was rocked for nine earned runs in one inning during a 22-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers just before the All-Star break. The left-hander even earned his first career stolen base, surprising the Pirates by getting a huge jump and swiping second.

“Swiping bags like it’s my job,” Smith said grinning.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was more impressed with Smith’s performance on the mound, which was the fourth straight good outing for the team’s starting pitchers. It’s been a rare good sign for a team that has the worst record in the majors at 28-68.

“Fantastic job,” Lovullo said. “It was a great mixture of pitches, quick early outs.”

Smith gave up two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Joakim Soria allowed two baserunners but pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

Escobar — who was the D-backs’ only All-Star representative last week — continued his solid season by ripping a low liner over the right-field wall for his 22nd homer to make it 4-0. The 32-year-old will be a tempting addition for a playoff-contending team as MLB’s trade deadline approaches. He’s in the final year of his contract, plays multiple positions and is a switch hitter.

Arizona’s David Peralta added a double and triple. Escobar’s homer and Peralta’s extra-base hits came after the two had a heated argument following the third inning. Peralta said the argument wasn’t a big deal and a simple misunderstanding.

“They’re two fiercely passionate athletes that care an unbelieveable amount about winning baseball games,” Lovullo said.

Chase De Jong (1-4) took the loss for the Pirates, giving up four runs over five innings. He walked two and gave up seven hits, including three homers.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton said De Jong had good moments but missed his spots with pitches too many times, especially on Escobar’s two-run homer.

“When you go down and in to Escobar, you’re going to pay for it,” Shelton said.

The Pirates pulled within 4-2 in the seventh after Ke’Bryan Hayes and Bryan Reynolds hit back-to-back RBI singles. Joe Mantiply struck out All-Star Adam Frazier with the bases loaded to end the rally.

Pavin Smith and Josh VanMeter hit back-to-back solo homers in the second that nearly landed in an identical spot behind the right-center field wall, pushing the D-backs to a 2-0 lead. It was Smith’s eighth homer of the year and VanMeter’s third.


De Jong made an excellent play in the third when he took a hard-hit grounder off the inside of his left knee from David Peralta. The pitcher recovered, chasing after the ball along the first-base line, picking it up and flipping to first baseman John Nogowski for the out.

Shelton said De Jong’s knee was bruised and swollen after the third but he wanted to keep pitching.

“I give him credit for grinding through,” Shelton said. “Our bullpen was a little strapped.”


The Pirates acquired LHP Dillon Peters from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for cash considerations. Pittsburgh sent him to Triple-A Indianapolis.

The 28-year-old has a 7-8 record in 31 MLB games, including 24 starts. He’s spent the whole 2021 season in Triple-A and has a 2-2 record with a 4.35 ERA.

RHP Kyle Crick was designated for assignment to make room for Peters on the 40-man roster.


The Pirates will send LHP Tyler Anderson (5-8, 4.35) to the mound for the second game of the three-game series on Tuesday. The Diamondbacks will counter with RHP Taylor Widener (1-0, 2.54).


More AP MLB: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Luka Modric celebrates after Croatia defeated Brazil in a penalty shootout during a World Cup quart...
Associated Press

Modric’s moves help Croatia eliminate Brazil from World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — The slippery hips of Luka Modric wriggled away from danger. The laser-like precision of his passing — and the intelligence to control the tempo for long periods — were ever present, as is usual. There was the customary adjustment of his hairband here, a tug of his captain’s armband there. […]
1 day ago
FILE - A sign on the University of Vermont campus in Burlington, Vt., is pictured on March 11, 2020...
Associated Press

Students sue Vermont school over response to sex assaults

Three women are suing the University of Vermont, saying the school failed to adequately respond after they reported they had been sexually assaulted while students on the Burlington campus. The civil suit, which is seeking unspecified damages, says that after the three women were sexually assaulted a number of administrators and school staff showed “deliberate […]
1 day ago
People celebrate Morocco's win over Spain in a World Cup match played in Qatar, in Rabat, Morocco, ...
Associated Press

‘Our pride’: Morocco keeps Africa’s hope alive in World Cup

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — For many in Africa, Morocco’s underdog performance is the best story in the World Cup so far, with the hopes of the continent soaring ahead of the match on Saturday against Portugal. Across the continent of more than 1.3 billion people, African fans are excited that Morocco has become the fourth […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Neymar, right, and Croatia's Marcelo Brozovic, left, fight for the ball during the World C...
Associated Press

Neymar ties Pelé’s all-time record with Brazil at World Cup

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar moved into a tie with Pelé as Brazil’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals on Friday. The Brazil forward scored in the first half of extra time of his team’s World Cup quarterfinal match against Croatia. Neymar scored with a right-footed shot after getting through the defense and dribbling […]
1 day ago
International Olympic Committee, IOC, President Thomas Bach attends the opening of the Executive Bo...
Associated Press

Russia may join sports events in Asia ahead of 2024 Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russia could return to some international sports events and Olympic qualifiers by competing as part of Asia rather than Europe. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach welcomed a “creative” plan Friday to allow athletes from Russia and its ally Belarus to join competitions in Asia after more than nine months of […]
1 day ago
Croatia's goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic saves a shot during a penalty shootout during the World Cup ...
Associated Press

Croatia beats Brazil on penalties in World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Neymar is again going home without a World Cup title. Luka Modric’s quest continues unabated. Modric converted one of the penalties as Croatia knocked Brazil out of the World Cup on Friday, beating the five-time champions 4-2 in a shootout to reach the semifinals for the second straight time. Neymar […]
1 day ago
Smith, Escobar lead Diamondbacks over Pirates 4-2