Since PNC Park opened in Pittsburgh, the Padres have been absolutely dominant in the Steel City, going 31-11 with 14 straight series wins. That’s right, the Padres have never dropped a SERIES to the Pirates since PNC opened in 2001. The trend continued Sunday as Tyson Ross (11-10, 2.63 ERA), continued to prove that his All-Star Game selection in July was no fluke. His quality start and an offensive explosion by the Padres led to a dominant victory with a final scoreline of 8-2.
Ross would settle down, going six strong innings allowing six hits with two walks and three strike outs. He did not allow a run after the home run in the 1st. The Padres then used the bullpen combination of Blaine Boyer, Dale Thayer and Tim Stauffer to finish up the final three innings.
The Padres were down 2-1 in the 5th inning when Seth Smith gave the Padres a 5-2 lead with a bases clearing triple, just barely missing a grand slam on a line drive to left field. Smith then scored on a wild pitch to cap off the four run inning. Jedd Gyorko continued his hot hitting since his return from the disabled list as he smacked a two-run single in the 9th. Yonder Alonso also had a good game, with an RBI single in the fourth inning and then a sac fly to bring in a run in the 7th.
It should be noted that Everth Cabrera was scratched moments before the start of the game due to a tight hamstring. No word on whether he aggravated the left hamstring injury that forced him to miss 21 games in July for the Padres. Cabrera had been one of the Padres’ hottest hitters, batting .350 in his last 10 games. The speedy shortstop was replaced with Alexi Amarista, which forced the Padres to start Abraham Almonte in left field.
Tommy Medica, who left Saturday’s game after getting beaned in the head, had a pinch hit appearance where he hit a line drive to left field that was misplayed by the Pirates, and advanced to third on an errant throw.
The Padres will head home to Petco Park for a quick three-game home stand against the Colorado Rockies on Monday. The Friars will send sensational rookie Jesse Hahn (7-3, 2.28 ERA) to the mound, and the Rockies will counter with righty Jordan Lyles (6-1, 3.72 ERA). The game will be broadcast on FSSD and the Mighty 1090 AM per usual.