- Associated Press - Friday, August 8, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Seth Smith worked a seven-pitch walk to load the bases with no outs in the sixth inning, and it looked as if San Diego would finally overcome a one-run deficit to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Padres came away with nothing instead. Vance Worley needed just two pitches to wiggle out of the jam, with Jedd Gyorko bouncing into a double play and Yonder Alonso popping up to left field, and Pittsburgh went on to a 2-1 victory.

With two of his team’s hottest hitters at the plate in that situation, San Diego manager Bud Black called the result “frustrating.”

“You want to be aggressive,” Black said. “You don’t want to fall behind. They’ve been swinging the bat well. You want them up there in that situation.”

Gregory Polanco and Josh Harrison had three hits apiece for the Pirates, who have won three in a row and five of seven. Worley (5-1) struck out seven in seven innings of one-run ball.

Ian Kennedy (8-10) gave up two runs, one earned, and seven hits in six innings for San Diego. He struck out five and walked three.

“I tried to grind through it,” Kennedy said. “It was a little bit of a battle. I fell behind a lot of guys, ran my pitch count up, so I was happy I was able to grind through it and get through six.”

Kennedy escaped his own bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third, but Pittsburgh’s two runs in the first held up.

“(The Padres) were able to get out of a bases-loaded jam earlier in the game,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “We were able to get one out and kind of hold serve on it and that was really the difference in the game for both teams.”

Tony Watson preserved the one-run lead with a perfect eighth and Mark Melancon picked up his career-high 21st save by striking out the side in the ninth.

“We just couldn’t get the big hit,” Black said. “We had some opportunities but couldn’t drive in the big run. We stressed Worley a couple of times but we couldn’t break through.”

San Diego scored in the first on Everth Cabrera’s leadoff double, a sacrifice and Smith’s sacrifice fly.

Pittsburgh responded with two in the bottom half. Harrison led off with a triple and scored on Polanco’s single. Polanco later scored on Russell Martin’s sacrifice fly.

The win moved the Pirates (62-53) a season-high nine games over .500, despite the recent absence of team leaders Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker.


Story Continues →