PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Pirates won consecutive games for the first time in more than three weeks when they downed the San Diego Padres 7-1 on Wednesday night at PNC Park.
The Pirates (37-42) have now won two in a row after losing 12 of 13 and it is their first back-to-back since a six-game streak from May 30-June 5.
Carlos Santana put the Pirates ahead with a two-run home run in the first inning off Blake Snell (4-7) and that was enough offense for Mitch Keller (9-3). The right-hander worked six innings and gave up one run and four hits while striking out five and walking one.
Santana and rookie Henry Davis each had two hits and two RBIs.
The Padres (37-43) lost for the ninth time in 13 games despite having the third-highest payroll in the major leagues.
Santana’s home run, his eighth of the season, set the tone for the Pirates, who have scored 16 runs in their last two games after scoring 30 runs in their previous 13 games.
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Keller strengthened his chances of being selected to the All-Star Game on July 11 in Seattle with his ninth win. He threw 104 pitches, 68 for strikes.
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–Davis extended his hitting streak to six games. He is just the fifth Pirates player to have a six-game streak within the first nine games of his major-league career since 2012 along with Brock Holt (2012), Gregory Polanco (2014), Bryan Reynolds (2019) and Hoy Park (2021).
–Infielder Jared Triolo made his major-league debut after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day and went 1-for-3 with a run scored while playing third base. His hit came on an eighth-inning single off Ray Kerr. Triolo was promoted as third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes was placed on the 10-day injured list with low back inflammation.
–Andrew McCutchen’s on-base streak reached a season-high 17 games when he singled in the seventh inning.
–The Pirates sent 11 batters to the plate in their five-run seventh inning, the fourth time they have had an inning with at least 10 plate appearances this season.
–Reliever Colin Holderman is hopeful of coming off the injured list Saturday when the Pirates host the Milwaukee Brewers without needing a minor-league rehab assignment. He has been out since June 15 with right wrist inflammation.
–First baseman Ji Man Choi homered in his first game with Indianapolis after having his rehab assignment transferred from Double-A Altoona. Choi has been on the injured list since April 14 with a left Achilles strain.
–Rookie Nick Gonzales became just the fourth player in Pirates history to have a home run and triple as his first career hits when he had one of each in Tuesday night’s win over the Padres. The others are Ed Poole (1900), Claude Hendrix (1911) and Mack Hillis (1928).
The three-game series concludes at 12:35 p.m. Thursday with rookie Luis Ortiz (2-3, 3.74) pitching for the Pirates against former Pirate Joe Musgrove (6-2, 3.88).
Ortiz has allowed two runs in 12.2 innings in his last two starts. Musgrove has won his last three starts and last five decisions.