PHOENIX - Since his days at Notre Dame ended and he turned pro, A.J. Pollock had rarely hit a home run and never two in a game.
But he was a slugger on Wednesday, knocking two over the left-field wall off Jonathan Sanchez to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 10-2 rout of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pollock began the day in an 0-for-14 rut. But he made a diving catch in center field to rob Andrew McCutchen in the first inning as the Diamondbacks salvaged the third game of the series after dropping the first two.
Wade Miley (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Sanchez (0-2) was charged with nine runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. The last two of those runs came after Sanchez left and reliever Chris Leroux walked two batters, on four pitches each, with the bases loaded in the Diamondbacks' four-run fourth.
Pollock, a long shot to make the opening day roster before spring training injuries to Adam Eaton and Cody Ross, hit a three-run homer in the second and a leadoff shot in the fourth. He had two home runs in 81 big league at-bats last season and only 14 in three seasons in the minors.
But, manager Kirk Gibson said, Pollock has some power, especially against left-handers.
"You get the ball up like that on him and he has the ability to hit it out of the ballpark," Gibson said.
Pollock said he has more pop than people think.
"For me, hitting home runs is not about power," he said. "It's about hitting the ball correctly and your approach at the plate. It's 340 feet down the line. It's not like you need to hit it 600 feet to hit it out. It's more about getting the right pitch and taking the right swing in the right count."
Pollock was moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. He was 3 for 17 (.176) entering the game and hadn't gotten a hit since opening day.
"Just a hunch I had," Gibson said.
It made the manager look like a genius. Pollock doubled down the left-field line with one out in the first, then took off trying to steal third while Sanchez still had the ball. Instead of what should have been an easy out, Sanchez threw wildly to third and Pollock scored.
It set the stage for what was to follow.
"You make a baseball play in the first inning, I don't know how (the game) turns out," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "We make a throw to third, we get the out there, who knows?"
Miley, runner-up in NL Rookie of the Year voting last season, had his second strong outing in as many tries. He retired 10 in a row after Starling Marte opened the game with a double. The string ended when McCutchen walked with one out in the fourth. Gaby Sanchez singled and Josh Harrison had an RBI single.
• Who: L.A. Dodgers at D-backs
• When: 6:40 p.m. Friday
• TV; radio: FSAZ; 1490-AM