Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Pittsburgh reliever Burdi injured in loss to Arizona

AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Nick Burdi, right, grabs his bicep after suffering an injury while pitching against the Arizona Diamondbacks as teammate Adam Frazier looks on in their National League game in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Monday.

Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA Today

Nick Burdi’s combination of grit and resilience — oh and a fastball that can touch triple digits — helped the Pittsburgh Pirates reliever carve out a spot in the major leagues less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right arm.

One innocent-looking pitch to Arizona’s Jarrod Dyson on Monday likely signaled another abrupt turn in Burdi’s roller-coaster career and the Diamondbacks’ 12-4 comeback victory.

The 26-year-old, a former touted prospect in Minnesota who found traction in Pittsburgh, threw a 155kph fastball to Dyson in the eighth inning then crumpled to the ground before clutching his right arm while tears filled his eyes.

He wept while teammates tried to console him on the mound.

Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk said Burdi was dealing with pain in his biceps and elbow, but it was too early for a diagnosis.

“It just takes the breath right out of you,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said.

Burdi had struck out 17 over 8-1/3 innings prior to Monday after making the Pirates out of spring training.

Christian Walker touched him for a two-run homer in Arizona’s seven-run seventh inning and Burdi gave up three straight singles to start the eighth before his second pitch to Dyson altered the trajectory of Burdi’s season, if not his career.

“It’s awful,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’re competitors up until something like that happens. We’re all in the same family. You hate to see anything like that happen. The way he went down, you’re just hoping for the absolute best.”

Burdi’s teammates stopped by to check on him in the aftermath. While the prognosis is uncertain, the Pirates are confident Burdi will find a way to navigate the difficult path ahead.

“He’s in good spirits,” Pittsburgh starter Joe Musgrove said. “He’s engaging. He’s talking to us. He’s not in a corner crying. He’s ready to face whatever it is. He’s got the work ethic and the mentality to bounce back from something like this.”

The Diamondbacks put together their major league-leading ninth comeback by exploding in the seventh and eighth after falling behind 4-1.

A walk and a single chased Musgrove, and Arizona poured it on against reliever Kyle Crick (0-1) and Burdi.

Swinging bunts by John Ryan Murphy and newly acquired Blake Swihart — singles that did not even reach the pitcher’s mound — and a flare to left field over a draw-in infield by Eduardo Escobar drew the Diamondbacks within 4-3.

David Peralta then drilled a shot to the gap in right-center off Crick and Walker followed two batters later with a towering flyball off Burdi that landed in the first row of seats in the right field stands.

In a span of minutes, a three-run deficit morphed into an 8-4 lead.

“I think it’s just a tribute to the guys we have,” said Walker, whose seven home runs have all come in the seventh inning or later. “Our pitches are out there battling and keeping us in games. We want to do everything we can to score runs and win, and all that.”

Escobar added his third home run and finished with three RBIs for Arizona.

Murphy finished with three hits for the Diamondbacks, who improved to 5-2 on their 10-game trip.

Matt Andriese (3-1) picked up the win in relief.

Elsewhere, the Yankees edged the Angels 4-3 in 14 innings, the Rays defeated the Royals 6-3, the Mets mastered the Phillies 5-1 and the White Sox 12 thrashed the Orioles 12-2.

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