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San Diego at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
San Diego (56-39) «040000100591
Pittsburgh (34-62)000210000361

Padres 5, Pirates 3

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Sounds so easy and, often enough for the surprising San Diego Padres, it is exactly that. Get the lead early and then let the bullpen finish it late.

Aaron Cunningham's triple started San Diego on a four-run second inning and the first-place Padres again took advantage of an early lead and their strong bullpen to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3.

Kevin Correia (7-6) gave up three runs, two earned, despite walking three in six innings to win his second in a row after going winless in seven starts. Correia also contributed a run-scoring single as the Padres jumped out to their 4-0 lead against Paul Maholm (6-8), ending the left-hander's streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings.

Getting ahead early is a trademark of these surprising Padres, whose 56-39 record is the NL's best. They are 42-15 when scoring first, but 14-24 when they don't.

With Adrian Gonzalez, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Will Venable hitting sacrifice flies, the Padres improved their NL-best road record to 26-20, even after losing six of their previous nine since July 6.

Cunningham's leadoff triple was misread by center fielder Jose Tabata, who broke in initially only to watch the ball sail over his head. Tabata, normally the left fielder, started in center for the injured Andrew McCutchen, who sat out his fifth consecutive game with a sore shoulder.

Tabata, speaking through interpreter Carlos Garcia, said the ball took "a different spin" than he expected.

"It took off a little bit -- that was a break," manager Bud Black said.

The Padres took advantage after that with a walk, two singles including Correia's sharply hit RBI single into left field, Chris Denorfia's run-scoring double and the Hairston and Gonzalez sacrifice flies.

"Four runs, and I really couldn't say they hit a ball hard," said Maholm, who praised the Padres hitters' patience. "They found holes. It was the kind of an inning that happens."

The Padres loaded the bases in the seventh on three walks by reliever Brendan Donnelly, who threw only one of his 13 pitches for strikes, but scored just once on Venable's sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.

Pittsburgh, losing its fourth in eight games at home since the All-Star break, had closed to within a run with the help of Lastings Milledge's two-run single in the fourth and Ronny Cedeno's leadoff double in the fifth. But a Padres bullpen that easily leads the NL with a 2.84 ERA closed it out with three scoreless innings -- one each by rookie Ernesto Frieri, Luke Gregerson and Heath Bell.

Frieri, recalled July 16, struck out the side in the seventh. He hasn't allowed a hit to the 17 batters he's faced in the majors.

"That's what we do. We feel good about the balance of our pitching staff [Nos.] 1-12," Black said. "When we've had to go to Triple-A -- which we've had to do a couple times -- we're confident."

Bell finished up in the ninth for his 28th save in 31 opportunities as San Diego improved to 5-2 since the break.

Pirates rookie Neil Walker went hitless in three at-bats with a walk following six consecutive multiple-hit games. No Pirates batter has had seven such games in a row since Barry Bonds in September 1992. Correia retired him twice.

"I was fortunate enough to get out of some innings, make some pitches to get out of some innings that could have taken a little bit longer [on a 91-degree night]," Correia said.

The Pirates thought they had a run in the first, but Tabata was called out on a delayed tag by catcher Yorvit Torrealba while trying to score on Garrett Jones' grounder. Tabata insisted his hand touched the plate.

"It cost us a run," manager John Russell said. "It was a close game, and who knows how it turns out [if the run scores]?"

NOTES

Padres RH Mat Latos (10-4, 2.45) will come off the disabled list Saturday to make his first start since July 8. He pitched 15 scoreless innings in his two most recent starts before straining a muscle on his left side while trying to stifle a sneeze. OF Luis Durango was optioned to Triple-A Portland. ... The Padres are 21-9 in PNC Park and haven't lost a series in Pittsburgh since 2000, when the Pirates played in Three Rivers Stadium. ... Gonzalez is 1 for 13 in his last four games, but walked three times, scored once and drove in a run. ... Sean Gallagher, picked up by Pittsburgh from the Padres for cash on July 7, pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
San Diego

K. Correia
IP 6.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 3
K 0
Pittsburgh

L. Milledge
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B4011002 .253
Chris Denorfia, CF4011111 .283
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B1101300 .294
Scott Hairston, LF4010112 .240
Yorvit Torrealba, C5010016 .300
Aaron Cunningham, RF3120001 .311
   a- Will Venable, PH-RF0001000 .235
Oscar Salazar, 3B3110011 .223
    Chase Headley, 3B1000002 .270
Everth Cabrera, SS2110200 .206
Kevin Correia, P2111000 .125
    Ernesto Frieri, P0000000 .000
   b- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH1000000 .223
    Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Totals3059574  
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Cunningham in the 7th
b-lined out for Frieri in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chris Denorfia (5, Maholm)
3B - Aaron Cunningham (1, Maholm)
SF - Jerry Hairston Jr. (5), Adrian Gonzalez (3), Will Venable (4)
SH - Kevin Correia (4)
RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. (37), Chris Denorfia (19), Adrian Gonzalez (61), Will Venable (33), Kevin Correia (3)
SB - Chris Denorfia (4, 3rd base off Donnelly/Jaramillo)
CS - Yorvit Torrealba (2, 2nd base by Maholm/Jaramillo)
PK - Everth Cabrera (1, Gallagher)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Hairston-Cabrera-Gonzalez, Hairston-Cabrera-Gonzalez
E - Everth Cabrera (5, Throwing)
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Correia (W,7-6) 6632300 5.09
Ernesto Frieri (H,1) 1000130 0.00
Luke Gregerson (H,22) 1000010 2.66
Heath Bell (S,28) 1000010 1.91
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 92-55, Ernesto Frieri 14-10, Luke Gregerson 11-7, Heath Bell 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 10-6, Luke Gregerson 2-0, Heath Bell 2-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 25, Ernesto Frieri 4, Luke Gregerson 3, Heath Bell 3
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jose Tabata, CF4011012 .265
Delwyn Young, RF2000211 .256
Neil Walker, 2B3100102 .314
Garrett Jones, 1B4000011 .270
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4120002 .259
Lastings Milledge, LF4012001 .280
Jason Jaramillo, C3000002 .157
   a- Bobby Crosby, PH1000000 .232
Ronny Cedeno, SS4110020 .246
Paul Maholm, P2010001 .050
    Brendan Donnelly, P0000000 .000
    D.J. Carrasco, P0000000 .000
   b- Andy LaRoche, PH0000100 .232
    Sean Gallagher, P0000000 .000
Totals3136345  
a-grounded out for Jaramillo in the 9th
b-walked for Carrasco in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ronny Cedeno (17, Correia)
RBI - Jose Tabata (13), Lastings Milledge 2 (32)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Jason Jaramillo (3, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Paul Maholm (L,6-8) 6944220 4.13
Brendan Donnelly0011300 5.58
D.J. Carrasco 1000000 3.86
Sean Gallagher 2000220 4.71
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Maholm 107-64, Brendan Donnelly 13-1, D.J. Carrasco 9-6, Sean Gallagher 26-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Maholm 7-8, D.J. Carrasco 2-1, Sean Gallagher 1-2
Batters Faced - Paul Maholm 28, Brendan Donnelly 3, D.J. Carrasco 3, Sean Gallagher 7
Game Information
Attendance - 18611
Game Time - 3:00
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Scott Barry