PITTSBURGH — Josh Harrison homered leading off the bottom of the ninth, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.
Harrison sent a fastball from Miami’s Mike Dunn (2-3) into the first row of seats in left-center field for his first career walk-off homer.
Dunn had worked out of a bases loaded, no-out jam in the eighth.
Bryan Morris (5-4) pitched a perfect top of the ninth for the victory. The Pirates have won three straight and are a season-high 24 games over .500 (68-44).
Neil Walker had three hits for the Pirates. Andrew McCutchen had two hits, including a two-run double, for Pittsburgh.
Donovan Solano went 3 for 5 for the Marlins but Miami left 11 runners on base.
Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke has been one of baseball’s biggest surprises, the 25-year-old soaring from fringe starter to All-Star. He’s had trouble working deep into games since returning from his trip to New York for the midsummer classic, and for a while it appeared he was headed for another early exit after lasting just four innings against St. Louis in his last start.
Miami turned three singles — none of them sharply hit — into a run in the second then added two more in the third behind four straight singles to start the inning. The Marlins, however, couldn’t pile on and Locke eventually settled down. The lefthander allowed three runs on nine hits — all singles — in 5 2-3 innings, walking three and striking out four as his ERA ticked up to 2.47.
Locke left two runners on in the sixth. He also left with a no decision as Vin Mazzaro retired Ed Lucas with two runners on to end the inning.
Henderson Alvarez handcuffed the Pirates in their previous meeting, limiting Pittsburgh to just two hits in six innings of a victory two weeks ago. The Pirates, however, briefly figured him out in the third. McCutchen doubled off the wall to drive in two runs and Pedro Alvarez followed with his first triple of the year to tie it.
The Pirates never threatened against the Miami starter again, and Alvarez left after seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out six while not issuing a walk.
That left it up to the bullpens and Pittsburgh’s “Shark Tank” continued its dominance. Mazzaro escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh and the Marlins went meekly in the eighth or ninth before Harrison stepped to the plate.
NOTES: Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said LHP Francisco Liriano deserves to be in the NL Cy Young conversation. Liriano is 12-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 16 starts and was named the NL Player of the Week after picking up two victories between July 29-Aug. 4 ... The series continues on Wednesday when Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton (3-3, 4.07 ERA) faces Tom Koehler (3-6, 4.34). Morton gave up five runs in six innings of a loss to St. Louis in his previous start. Koehler pitched six shutout innings against the Mets in a win last Thursday.