San Diego came into three game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates posting a 17-4 record at PNC Park since 2008, but it was not the start they were looking for as they dropped the first games of series 2-1 in front of a crowd 30,000 plus Friday night.
After giving up one run in the first inning and combined with the bullpen, Pirates starter Vance Worley (5-1, 2.30 ERA) shut down the Padres offense who has been one of the hottest since the All-Star. Worley allowed the one earned run on five hits and striking out seven over seven innings.
Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera opened up the game with a lead off double and advanced to third on Yangervis Solarte sacrifice bunt. Cabrera would scored on an RBI sacrifice fly by Seth Smith and Padres were on the board 1-0.
The Pirates would answer right back in the bottom of the first inning off Padres starter Ian Kennedy (8-10, 3.51 ERA) who labored a little bit in his second start back after missing one with an oblique injury. Josh Harrison opened the bottom half of the first inning with a triple and scored on an RBI single by Gregory Polanco. After Polanco’s tenth stolen base of the season and advancing to third on catcher Rene Rivera‘s throwing error, he would later score on an Ike Davis‘ RBI sacrifice fly.
Despite the Pirates threatening throughout most the game, Kennedy stepped up to make the big pitches when he needed too to get out multiple jams. On the night, Kennedy went six innings giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits, walking three and striking out five.
The Padres’ squandered their best chance in the top of the sixth when they loaded the bases with no one out. Following singles by Cabrera and Solarte and a walk by Smith, second baseman Jedd Gyorko, with family in the crowd, hit a weak grounder to third and was doubled up on a 5-2-3 double play. Yonder Alonso would fly out to end the inning and the Padres were never able to mount another threat.
Both Cabrera and Solarte did their jobs at the top of the Padres lineup accumulating for four of the Padres five hits while the rest of the team combined to go 1 for 21 on the night.
The Padres will look to bounce back tomorrow when lefty Eric Stults (4-13, 4.94 ERA) squares off against another lefty in Francisco Liriano (3-7, 3.91 ERA). Saturday nights game is tentatively scheduled for 4:10 pm PDT.