Posted September 19, 2013 on AP on Fox
Mlb-padres-pirates-august
Neil Walker had four hits, including his 11th homer of the season, and drove in three runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the San Diego Padres 10-1 Thursday and stop a three-game losing streak. Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 34th homer for Pittsburgh. Jose Tabata added two hits and three RBIs as the Pirates moved a game in front of Cincinnati for the top wild card spot in the NL. The rivals begin a three-game series in Pittsburgh on Friday. Gerrit Cole (9-7) struck out a career-high 12 while allowing one run and four hits in six innings. Pittsburgh scored four runs total while losing three straight games to the Padres but scored five in the fourth against Ian Kennedy (6-10). Alvarez homered to center with one out to give Pittsburgh the lead. The win inched Pittsburgh closer to its first postseason berth in 21 years and gave the Pirates some momentum heading into the showdown with the Reds. It also took some of the sting out of a 3-2 loss on Wednesday night when closer Mark Melancon surrendered two runs in the ninth in his third blown save this season. The Pirates, as they've done nearly all year when tested, responded emphatically. It certainly helps that Cole has quickly matured into the star the franchise envisioned when it selected him with the first overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft. The 23-year-old won for the third time in nine days by dominating the Padres with a fastball that topped out in the high 90s and an improving breaking ball that kept San Diego from completing the sweep. Cole's main weakness may be that he gets too fired up. His ERA in the first inning rose to 6.00 when Tommy Medica's two-out RBI single gave the Padres an early lead. It was the lone hiccup on a day he bolstered his case to earn a start in October if the Pirates make it that far. And for once, he received a little help from an offense that finally found some traction after 27 fruitless innings. Making a spot start while leadoff hitter Starling Marte spent the day in the hospital helping his wife welcome their first child, Tabata scored on a fielder's-choice grounder by Andrew McCutchen to tie it in the first. Three innings later, Alvarez crushed a belt-high Kennedy pitch and sent it nearly to the concourse behind the seats in center for just his second home run in 22 games. The homer sent a jolt through Pittsburgh's dugout. Tabata hit a two-run double with two outs, and Walker followed with a shot to right that climbed just over the top of the Clemente Wall for a 6-1 lead. Cole worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the fifth and completed his career day by striking out Nick Hundley swinging. The burly right-hander pumped his first in celebration as he walked off the mound. The Pirates hadn't won a game by more than two runs since knocking off Milwaukee 5-2 on Sept. 2. NOTES: Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said he hasn't set a rotation for the final week of the season. If the Pirates don't make any changes, ace Francisco Liriano would be available to pitch the opening game of the playoffs. Liriano (16-7, 2.29 ERA) will start Friday night against Cincinnati's Mat Latos (14-6, 3.14) ... San Diego begins a three-game series at home on Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Robbie Erlin (2-3, 5.18 ERA) will face Edinson Volquez (9-11, 5.94). --- Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Dave Parker is Still a Pirates Fan

Now, I'm not sure whether this should be filed under "awesome" or "sad". Earlier this week, an eagle-eyed fan spotted former big leaguer Dave Parker at a Cincinnati grocery store...decked out in full Pittsburgh Pirates gear.  And I've gotta add, "The Cobra" is looking every bit as good as he did during his eleven-year stint with the Bucs...

All Aboard The Cole Train

Gerrit Cole has been on prospect radars for years. He’s been there for good reason; near triple digit heat, huge frame, and good off-speed stuff. He finally arrived in Pittsburgh this year and the results have been extremely positive. As of today, Mr. Cole has a 3.23 ERA. His peripherals paint an even prettier picture, albeit slight, with a 2.98 FIP and 3.18 xFIP. To put that in...

Mazeroski to sell memorabilia

Former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski is selling memorabilia from the most iconic moment of his Hall of Fame career. Mazeroski will have several personal items auctioned at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in November, including the jersey he wore in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series. Mazeroski hit a solo home run leading off the bottom of the ninth to...

Game 153 Preview: Pirates vs. Padres

Padres (71-80) at Pirates (87-65) 12:35 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh MLB.com Gameday TV: ROOT The Pirates will try and avoid disaster today at PNC Park, as the Padres look to continue their dominance in Pittsburgh and sweep this four game set. The Bucs have not been swept at home all year and need to win this one in the worst way to stay close to the Cardinals in the Central, and enter...

It’ll take more than a dugout to stop Tony Sanchez

There is nothing better than watching a player sacrifice his body to make a play, which is why Tony Sanchez deserves a medal for making this catch earlier today. The fact that the catch came in the eighth inning of a game where the Pirates were up by eight runs makes it that much more impressive. Bravo Mr. Sanchez, wear that eventual butt bruise proudly. [Deadspin] The post It...

Pirates' Starling Marte returns in Pittsburgh loss

The Pittsburgh Pirates got Starling Marte back last night as the club took on the San Diego Padres.  Marte had been out for almost a month - since August 18th to be exact.  He had been battling an injured  hand.  Marte's presence last night was not enough to help propel the Pirates past the Padres, but he will be an important part going forward. Marte collected one hit...

Melancon falters, Pirates fall to Padres 3-2

The Pittsburgh Pirates have spent all season relying on a remarkable resiliency that enables them to brush off adversity and get back to the cumbersome task of returning the franchise to the playoffs and respectability. The final steps may be the hardest of all. San Diego's Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera delivered consecutive RBI singles in the ninth inning off Pirates closer...

Padres end positive trip with 10-1 loss to Pirates

The San Diego Padres still own PNC Park. They just let the Pittsburgh Pirates borrow it for a day. Neil Walker had four hits, including his 11th homer of the season, and drove in three runs to lead the Pirates to a 10-1 win over San Diego on Thursday as Pittsburgh salvaged the finale of a four-game series. Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 34th homer for Pittsburgh. Jose Tabata...

The 5 Worst MVP Seasons

So this is the third and probably final article I’ve written in this vein. If you’re interested in this kind of thing, you can check out the 5 Worst Seasons with 120+ RBI and the 5 Worst Seasons with 20+ Wins. I went back to 1931, the first year that the BBWAA started voting for the MVP award. I was informed by WAR, but it was not decisive. Debate is welcomed. Honorable Mention...

Game 154 Preview: Pirates vs. Reds

Reds (87-66) at Pirates (88-65) 7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh MLB.com Gameday TV: ROOT, MLBN Remember all the babbling earlier this summer (and even last summer) about “the biggest series in the history of PNC Park?” Yeah, this is bigger. With nine games to play, the Bucs begin their final home regular season series of the year with a division title still in reach. They will...

Game 154: Reds 6 Pirates 5

I think ... disheartening. I think that's the word. I want to say devastating, but I honestly feel like once we have a tad more perspective that it's just a little too strong. The reality is that the Pirates were longshots to win the NL Central before this game began tonight, and they were longshots to win the NL Central when it seemed like they were certain to win it, and...

Game 152 Preview: Pirates vs. Padres

Padres (70-80) at Pirates (87-64) 7:05 PM–PNC Park, Pittsburgh MLB.com Gameday TV: ROOT The Pirates really need to figure out a way to beat the San Diego Padres at PNC Park. They have already failed to win this four game series and are in danger of losing it during the next two days. When you’re battling a top notch team down the stretch, that can’t happen. It would also be...

Game 152: Padres 3 Pirates 2

The topline story is that Mark Melancon came into the game with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth and served up four hits and two runs in the seven batters that he faced, and a 2-1 win turned into a 3-2 loss. This is particularly difficult to swallow, because the previous eight innings made this game look like it was going to be a real signature win for the Pirates. Charlie Morton...

Who Made The Better Catch, Pirates Catcher Tony Sanchez Or This Random Old Lady

Earlier this week we asked you, the With Leather readership, to determine who’d MASSIVELY SUPLEXED it better: sumo monster Byamba or New York Jets CB Ellis Lankster. Over 64% of you chose Byamba ragdolling a 400 pound dude named “MAN OF FAT STEEL” over Lankster’s german-into-an-ura-nage, so I thought I’d get your opinion on this. Who had yesterday’s best MLB Wild Card...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Diego Padres – Game 153

There seems to be a fear among Pirates fans that they are going to let the Nationals pass them.  Sure the Nationals are hot, but that’s a pretty monumental task. @flyguy4_9 @shamtown If Bucs went 4-7 rest of the way which they likely won’t Nats would have to be 11-0 to tie them that also…
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.