Pirates

Marte’s always armed with ‘nuke’ capability

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Starling Marte hits the game-winning home run in the 13th inning - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Thanks to the continued proliferation of highlights on television and the internet, walk-off hits seem like a common occurrence.

They are not.

I remember back to 1999 and third baseman Ed Sprague’s only season with the Pirates. He hit a game-ending single early that year and said it was the first time he had ever done so in his life.

That was from a guy who was in his ninth major-league season. Not to say that Sprague should be in the Hall of Fame, but he was a World Series hero with the Blue Jays in the early stages of his career and represented the Pirates in that year’s All-Star Game.

Think about that and consider Starling Marte hit the fifth walk-off home run of his eight-year career Sunday, a three-run blast in the bottom of the 13th inning that rallied the Pirates to a 5-3 victory against the Athletics at PNC Park.

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