Pittsburgh Pirates Claim Series Over San Diego Padres


The Pittsburgh Pirates rallied after nearly a two hour rain delay Tuesday, and defeated the San Diego Padres 3-2 at PNC Park. The crew of the Jolly Roger has won four in a row, and have captured their 15th series of the season.

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With two out, Gregory Polanco had the stadium rocking in the home half of the eighth. The right fielder connected for his third triple of the season when he stroked a sharp line drive to center off Padres reliever Jaoquin Benoit. The hit allowed Sean Rodriguez to come home with the winning run. Benoit picked up his fourth loss against five victories.

It was a night to plunder triples along the North Shore as Jung Ho Kang collected his first one of the season in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game. The third baseman smacked a line drive to right that scored Neil Walker.

Andrew McCutchen got the comeback started with his 24th double in the home half of the third. His sharp line drive to right drove in Walker. The All-Star center fielder went 2-for-4 on the night.

Francisco Liriano did not let the rain delay stop him from going six innings for the Pirates. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound lefthander gave up just two earned runs on four hits while striking out six and walking one. The 31-year-old Liriano fired 54 of his 86 pitches for strikes in dealing with 23 Padres at the plate.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Pittsburgh Pirates

The bullpen did not give up a run over the last three innings. Jared Hughes came on in the seventh and threw 11 of his 15 pitches for strikes in facing four hitters. Tony Watson permitted two hits and struck out two in the eighth. The lefthander picked up his second victory of the season.

Mark Melancon added his 28th save in closing out the ninth. He got 12 of his 18 pitches over for strikes against four batters. He tied Joel Hanrahan’s 2011 club record for 26 consecutive save conversions.

Clint Hurdle had this to say on the team’s web site after the victory, “Well, we can knock this off the to-do list, for sure. We won a series at home against San Diego. Good stuff.”

It was an early night for the Padres’ Tyson Ross, who did not come back out to the mound after the rain delay. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound righthander allowed just two hits while striking out one and walking none in two innings of work. The Berkeley, Calif. native hurled 17 of his 27 pitches for strikes in taking on eight Bucs.

San Diego took an early lead in the top of the third. Matt Kemp hit a sharp line drive to center for his 17th double this season. Both Derek Norris and Yonder Alonso came around to score. The Padres could not sustain any offense as they stranded seven runners on base, and twice left runners in scoring position with two out.


Up Next: The Padres and Pirates conclude their three-game series Wednesday. The Southern California Friars will send 28-year-old righthander Andrew Cashner (3-9, 4.06 ERA/1.39 WHIP) to the mound. The Pirates will counter with 31-year-old righthander Charlie Morton (6-2, 4.30 ERA/1.28 WHIP). The first pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the match-up will be on ROOT Sports Pittsburgh.

From The Clipboard: The game lasted 2:55 (1:42 rain delay) and there were 21,887 in attendance at PNC Park…Pittsburgh was 43-40 after 83 games last season…Coming into Tuesday’s match-up, the Pirates led all Major League squads with 96 double plays turned…Neil Walker has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 contests…McCutchen has hit safely in 14 consecutive games which is a new career best.

Next: Hounds have opportunity to climb conference standings

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