The Pittsburgh Pirates struggled with runners in scoring position finishing 2-for-11 and left 11 runners on base as the San Diego Padres took the opener of the series with a 3-1 win. Neil Walker plated the only Bucco run in his first start since dislocating his pinky finger. The Bucs are now 3-16 against the Father since September 19, 2009.
Padres starter Edinson Volquez tied his season high with ten strikeouts and picked up his first win since July 30. The right hander acquired from the Reds in the offseason gave up just five hits in his 6.2 innings pitched. A sketchy Friars bullpen did the rest as the Bucs failed to get the timely hits to climb back into the game.
Kevin Correia (9-8), voluntered to start the game and the Pirates brass listened despite the fact Correia pitched two innings of relief in the marathon against St. Louis yesterday. The right hander allowed two earned runs and seven hits in 4.1 innings.
“I haven’t even throw back-to-back days in the bullpen in over five years,” Correia said. “I was surprised how well my arm and everything felt.”
While the talented arms of Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson watched from the bullpen, KC gave up two runs in the first inning with a doulbe, single, a Carlos Quentin hit batsmen, a passed ball, and a Yasmani Grandal groundout. The Pirates defense didn’t help out Correia, but the offense, which typically always scores with KC on the mound, was shut down.
The Padres put up another run in the second inning when Cameron Maybin scored on Venable’s knock through the hole at second base.
Jose Tabata had three knocks, Pedro Alvarez had a single and two walks, while Walker singled and walked. MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen struckout three times and left five men on base. Cutch hit a ball to the wall in center that would have tied the game, but in other plate appearances chased pitches out of the zone including his strikeout to end the game as he represented the tying run.
McPherson fired two scoreless innings while striking out two. Wilson did one better as he struck out the side around two singles. Neither pitcher looked nervous and their strikeout pitches reminded everyone that while Correia can keep the Bucs in the game, his lack of a strikeout pitch makes it difficult for him to get out jams when his defense fails him.
You probably are looking for some sunshine this morning–go watch these again: