San Diego’s bats awoke somewhat. The Padres got three solo homers from players who had yet to homer in 2011 in beating Pittsburgh 6-5.
The Pirates drew first blood off of Mat Latos. Andrew McCutchen drew a walk to lead off the game. Xavier Paul’s bunt went for a single. One out later, Neil Walker doubled them both in. Latos would not be scored on again and went six innings. He benefited from three double plays turned behind him.
Latos’ bat got one run back. He led off the third inning against Jeff Karstens with a drive to left. Eric Patterson, who replaced Orlando Hudson in the first after the O-Dog strained his hamstring running out a double in the fist, homered with no one on and one out to tie the score at two each. Ryan Ludwick doubled and Cameron Maybin singled him in to give San Diego a 3-2 lead.
Luke Gregerson relievd Latos in the seventh and coughed up the lead. A walk to Chris Snyder and a single from Ronny Cedeno put runners on the corners. Matt Diaz pinch hit and struck a double to tie the score. McCutchen followed with a single that plated two and put Pittsburgh up 5-3. Chad Qualls relieved. McCutchen was caught stealing and Paul was retired to end the inning.
San Diego evened it after the stretch. Michael Crotta gave up consecutive singles to start the inning and gave way to Joe Beimel. Patterson reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Ludwick walked to force in one run and a double play grounder from Jorge Cantu knotted the score at five.
Beimel came out for the eighth and yielded a solo homer to Rob Johnson for a 6-5 San Diego lead. Heath Bell got the save in the ninth. Brandon Wood – in for Pedro Alvarez who left with a balky quad – walked and was bunted over. He attempted to move up on a pitch in the dirt. But Johnson threw him out. Bell fanned Ryan Doumit to end the game.
Karstens went four plus and gave up three runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out four. Latos lasted six innings and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks while whiffing five Pirates. Beimel got the loss. Mike Adams got the win in relief while pitching a scoreless eighth.
Pirates turned three double plays.
Paul had two more hits.
Daniel McCutchen relieved Karstens with two on and no one out in the fifth and got out of the jam. He remains unscored upon in 2011.
Coughing up a late lead.
Bucs lost five men on the bases. They hit into three double plays. McCutchen was caught stealing and Wood was thrown out on what would’ve been a wild pitch had he been safe.
Latos has not won since 9/7/10. He beat the Pirates in his only previous career start against them last July 24th.
The homer was the first for Latos since July 8, 2010. Patterson homered in each game of a double header on 7/5/10 while playing for Boston and hadn’t homered since. Johnson hadn’t homered since last May 18th when he was a Mariner.