Padres Recap: Padres Fall Despite Shields Gem

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James Shields threw seven strong innings today for the San Diego Padres, in a fantastic pitchers duel against A.J. Burnett and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Padres got onto the board in the second inning.  Alexi Amarista lifted a deep sacrifice fly to center after two walks and the first hit of the game by Jedd Gyorko.

Burnett would keep the Padres to the lone single for the next 14 batters when Yonder Alonso got something going again in the seventh inning.  Alonso and Gyorko hit back to back singles, but the rally was quickly stifled by a soft double play tapper by Will Venable.

James Shields was equally masterful, giving up just one weak infield hit until the seventh inning when Andrew McCutchen ripped a double to left field.  Shields extended the inning by hitting Francisco Cervelli with a pitch.  Yangervis Solarte looked to have a run saving diving stop off a sharp line drive from Pedro Alvarez.  After the stop, he bounced the trow to first, which allowed Andrew McCutchen to score.

Pat Murphy tried to get something going in the eighth inning.  Pinch hitter Brett Wallace drew a walk, and Melvin Upton Jr. came on as a pinch runner.  In what looked to be a balk from Burnett, Upton was picked off at first base.  The friars had an opportunity with runners at first and third with two outs and Matt Kemp at the plate.  Kemp struck out to end the inning.

The Padres squandered a lead off hit in the 9th.  Justin Upton was caught stealing and Jedd Gyorko grounded into a double play.

McCutchen got it going again for the Pirates in the ninth inning with a walk.  Pedro Alvarez came up with runners on first and third with two outs and delivered with a sharp single to center for the walk off hit.

There were plenty opportunities for the Padres to score more runs in this game.  James Shields threw seven innings, only surrendering two hits, and the Padres still could not come away with the win.

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