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 Mar...