|San Diego (65-46) «||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||x||4||6||0|
SAN DIEGO -- Ryan Ludwick admitted to manager Bud Black a few days ago that he has been pressing.
Black had a one-word answer: "Relax."
For the Pirates, it's been a fruitless wait for a promised brighter future -- 18 years and counting. Yet with prospects like Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez, they swear it's different this time. Read >>
"That's human nature, to come to a new club and want to do well," Black said about Ludwick, acquired from St. Louis in a three-team trade on July 31. "You just try a little too hard, no matter who you are. He'll be fine.
"Hopefully this will help ease him into a new environment. We're excited to have him," Black said.
"You come over and definitely don't want to mess anything up," Ludwick said. "They've got something going really special over here. I just want to help out. I think at times it's human nature, you kind of try to do a little too much at times. I'm just glad tonight it clicked a little bit."
Ludwick hit a line shot to left on Jeff Karstens' first pitch of the second, then hit a towering fly ball to straightaway center on an 0-1 pitch off Wil Ledezma leading off the seventh for a 3-1 lead. Ludwick has 13 home runs this season.
"It's kind of comforting knowing that I can hit a ball out of this ballpark," Ludwick said with a laugh, referring to the spacious outfield at Petco Park that has frustrated other Padres sluggers.
San Diego's Wade LeBlanc tied his career high with eight strikeouts to win for only the second time in six starts. Karstens, making his first start in his hometown, lost his sixth consecutive decision.
"First pitch to Ludwick, I was just trying to throw a strike," Karstens said. "He didn't hit it hard but you hit it like that in this ballpark and it's still a home run."
"As long as he's hitting home runs, I don't care who's pitching," LeBlanc said. "If he's hitting home runs, that means we're scoring runs. It's awesome having somebody with that kind of sock that can hit behind Gonzo and take a little pressure off Adrian," he said, referring to slugger Adrian Gonzalez.
The NL West-leading Padres (65-46) have the best record in the NL while the Pirates (39-73) have the worst.
LeBlanc got his first career RBI with a two-out single to left-center in the second that brought in Yorvit Torrealba, who walked and advanced on Chris Denorfia's slow roller for an infield single. Denorfia was thrown out trying to take third on LeBlanc's single.
Pittsburgh's Jose Tabata reached with two outs in the third when his grounder glanced off second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr.'s glove. It was ruled a hit. Neil Walker followed with a walk and Pedro Alvarez singled in Tabata.
Hairston had an RBI infield single in the eighth.
LeBlanc (6-10) allowed one run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings, with two walks. Karstens (2-8) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings, struck out three and walked one.
Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 chances.
"He threw a good game," Pittsburgh manager John Russell said of Karstens. "He kept us in it. He was pretty efficient. He did what we needed him to do. We just didn't get much offense. Guys were trying to do something big but were getting away from themselves a little bit."
Karstens, who grew up in suburban Spring Valley, said he had more than 200 family members and friends at the game.
|Ryan Ludwick gets a hug from Adrian Gonzalez after the new Padre hits his second homer of the night. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Andrew McCutchen, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.283|
|Jose Tabata, LF||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.310|
|Neil Walker, 2B||3||0||0||0||1||3||1||.300|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B||3||0||1||1||1||1||0||.241|
|Lastings Milledge, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||2||.273|
|Andy LaRoche, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.223|
|Chris Snyder, C||2||0||0||0||2||1||2||.229|
|Argenis Diaz, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||5||.248|
|Jeff Karstens, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||1||.071|
|a- Delwyn Young, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.260|
|Wil Ledezma, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Resop, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Garrett Jones, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.263|
|a-singled for Karstens in the 7th|
|b-lined out for Resop in the 9th|
|2B - Andy LaRoche (8, LeBlanc), Ronny Cedeno (20, LeBlanc)|
|RBI - Pedro Alvarez (31)|
|2-OUT RBI - Pedro Alvarez (13)|
|SB - Jose Tabata (12, 2nd base off Gregerson/Torrealba)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|Outfield Assists - Andrew McCutchen 1|
|Jeff Karstens (L,2-8)||6||3||2||2||1||3||1||4.39|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Karstens 85-56, Wil Ledezma 21-15, Chris Resop 19-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Karstens 5-9, Chris Resop 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeff Karstens 21, Wil Ledezma 4, Chris Resop 5|
|San Diego Padres|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.255|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.265|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.290|
|Ryan Ludwick, RF||3||2||2||2||0||0||0||.276|
|Chase Headley, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.275|
|Yorvit Torrealba, C||2||1||0||0||1||2||0||.314|
|Will Venable, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.229|
|Chris Denorfia, CF||3||1||2||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Heath Bell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Wade LeBlanc, P||2||0||1||1||0||0||0||.324|
|Luke Gregerson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike Adams, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH-CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.212|
|a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Adams in the 8th|
|2B - Chris Denorfia (7, Resop)|
|HR - Ryan Ludwick 2 (13, Karstens, Ledezma)|
|SH - Tony Gwynn Jr. (6)|
|RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. (46), Ryan Ludwick 2 (47), Wade LeBlanc (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Wade LeBlanc (1)|
|Team LOB - 2|
|DP - Headley-Hairston-Gonzalez, Hairston-Gonzalez|
|San Diego Padres|
|Wade LeBlanc (W,6-10)||5.2||5||1||1||2||8||0||3.51|
|Luke Gregerson (H,27)||1.1||2||0||0||1||1||0||2.48|
|Mike Adams (H,23)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.08|
|Heath Bell (S,32)||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||1.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wade LeBlanc 106-66, Luke Gregerson 26-15, Mike Adams 9-7, Heath Bell 12-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade LeBlanc 3-6, Luke Gregerson 2-0, Mike Adams 1-0, Heath Bell 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Wade LeBlanc 24, Luke Gregerson 6, Mike Adams 3, Heath Bell 3|
|Attendance - 23249|
|Game Time - 2:34|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Dan Bellino, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Rob Drake|