The Pittsburgh Pirates wrapped up their 10-game, three-city road trip at 6-4, but the way it ended has to be a little disheartening.
Despite allowing only one hit – and a bunt single at that – the Bucs fell 3-2 to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday evening at Petco Park.
On the surface that seems impossible. In fact, it’s the first time the Pirates (28-31) lost while one-hitting an opponent since 1992. To make matters even more bizarre, the Padres’ hit came in the first inning and didn’t even plate a run.
Rather, Everth Cabrera‘s bunt pushed Chris Denorfia, who had walked and stolen second base, to third ahead of Carlos Quentin‘s sacrifice fly to shallow right-center field. Second baseman Josh Harrison made an ill-conceived catch while backpedaling, allowing Denorfia to score easily.
Harrison added a physical error to his mental miscue later in the first. After Pirates starter Francisco Liriano hit Chase Headley with a pitch, Tommy Medica bounced back to the mound, where Liriano tried to start a double play. However, Harrison’s throw from second base was wild, allowing Cabrera to score.
Andrew McCutchen, playing on the fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, launched a solo home run to left in the top of the fourth to make it 2-1, but Liriano continued to stagger in the bottom of the inning. The left-hander walked six batters total in five innings of uneven work, including three in a row in the fourth to push across San Diego’s third run.
Meanwhile, Harrison made up for his poor defense with another great day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with an RBI out of the leadoff spot. His double in the fifth off San Diego righty Ian Kennedy drove in Jordy Mercer and pulled the Pirates back within a run at 3-2.
The Pirates have Thursday off before heading into an important weekend series against first-place Milwaukee at PNC Park.