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Pirates Pitching Falters in 7-3 Loss to Padres

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The night started out promising for Zach Thompson, who retired the first seven batters he faced. In the end, the Padres offense prevailed, and San Diego defeated the Pirates 7-3 at PNC Park on Friday night.

The Pirates put up a two-spot in the first inning off of Yu Darvish. Daniel Vogelbach lined one off of Darvish’s glove, and the ball landed in the infield without a play able to be made. Bryan Reynolds scored on the play. The next batter, Diego Castillo, singled to right, allowing Ke’Bryan Hayes to score.

The Padres tied it up at two after Ha-Seong Kim smacked a two-run shot to left field, his third homer of the year. Thompson prevented the Padres from adding on the next inning, after stranding Manny Machado, who was on second base with nobody out.

After a walk and a base hit in the fifth off Thompson, Derek Shelton called for the pen and brought in Aaron Fletcher. Fletcher plunked Trent Grisham to load the bases. Jake Cronenworth then lined one up the middle that was ticketed for centerfield, but hit the second base umpire. The Padres scored one on the play. Manny Machado tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly, giving San Diego a 4-2 lead.

The Pirates cut the Padres lead to one when Vogelbach plated Reynolds with an RBI single in the home half of the fifth.

Just as the Pirates were trying to claw back, the Padres tacked on two more. Trayce Thompson lined a 3-2 breaking ball into left field, scoring a pair. Cronenworth shit a solo shot over the fence in right-center giving the Padres a 7-3 lead.

For the Pirates, Vogelbach, Castillo and Andrew Knapp all collected a pair of hits in game. The loss extends Pittsburgh’s losing streak to a season-high four games.

The Pirates and Padres are back in action Saturday night. JT Brubaker (0-2, 6.46 ERA) will square off with left-hander Sean Manaea (2-2, 3.47 ERA).

Takeaways

  • Better Than It Shows: It still wasn’t a great outing by any means for Thompson, but he did pitch better than the final line shows. Other than the Kim homerun, Thompson allowed only a pair of hits — both singles. Thompson will need to produce better results moving forward, but it was at least a small step forward after his last two outings, in which he was charged with a combined 10 earned runs on 15 hits in six innings.
  • A Week Ago: The Pirates haven’t hit a homerun since Roberto Perez hit a solo shot against the Cubs last Friday — exactly a week ago. Entering play, the Pirates have hit 11 homeruns, tied for the third fewest in the Major Leagues. This of course comes after the Bucs finished dead last in homers a season ago.
  • Short Stints Need Work: The Pirates have had some success out of their bullpen from guys covering multiple innings, notably Wil Crowe and Dillon Peters. However, other than David Bednar, they’ve had some trouble from guys who are responsible covering just an inning. Chris Stratton blew a save in the loss to Milwaukee on Thursday. The trio of Fletcher, Heath Hembree and Sam Howard were all charged with a run in Friday’s loss. They’ll need more out of their middle relief options.
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