Pittsburgh at San Diego

Scoreboard
Pittsburgh (39-75)000000000041
San Diego (67-46) «00100200x360

Padres 3, Pirates 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN DIEGO -- After sweeping aside the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Diego Padres can turn their attention to a showdown with the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

But the Padres refuse to be baited by Jonathan Sanchez's guarantee of a Giants sweep.

Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer while Jon Garland and three relievers combined on a four-hitter to lead the Padres to a 3-0 victory Thursday that completed a three-game sweep of the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Padres protected their 2½-game lead over the Giants in the NL West. Giants lefty Jonathan Sanchez, who has guaranteed a sweep against the Padres, will start Friday night's series opener against lefty Clayton Richard. San Diego is 7-1 against the Giants this year.

The Padres, who've been in first place for all but three days since April 20, weren't about to make any bold predictions.

"For us to go out and sweep Pittsburgh is a good feeling and we're going to have a a happy flight tonight to San Francisco," said Heath Bell, who pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 34th save in 37 chances. "Tomorrow we'll get ready for San Francisco."

Sanchez made his prediction on Sunday after losing to the Atlanta Braves.

"If he said it tonight then it might mean a little bit more," Bell said. "I think he'll have more pressure on himself now pitching against us tomorrow, just because he predicted something that he can only handle for one game out of three."

Sanchez no-hit the Padres in San Francisco on July 10, 2009. On April 20, he held the Padres to one hit in seven innings but lost 1-0 at Petco Park.

The Padres earned their first-ever season sweep of the Pirates (39-75), who have the worst record in the NL. The Padres (67-46) have the league's best record.

"We're feeling good about ourselves. We're confident," Garland said. "We can't get a little overexcited. We just need to go up there and continue to play the baseball we've been playing and let it go the way it's going to go."

Garland (11-8) held Pittsburgh to one hit in six innings, struck out five and walked four.

"Jon knows how to work his way through a lineup," manager Bud Black said. "He knows how to get himself out of innings if there's a little stress. Even though he wasn't in a lot of trouble today, they had a couple guys on a couple different times."

The Pirates had runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth when shortstop Miguel Tejada went to his left to field pitcher Zach Duke's grounder, spun and threw him out.

"That ball goes into the outfield, that's one, maybe two," Garland said. "If he stops it it's still bases loaded and you're still in a jam, but he got to it and was able to throw him out."

San Diego threw its 14th shutout, second in the majors behind the New York Mets with 17. The Pirates were shut out for the 12th time.

Ludwick gave Garland some breathing room with his third homer this series. With Adrian Gonzalez aboard on a throwing error by shortstop Argenis Diaz, Ludwick hit a 2-0 pitch from Duke into the Padres' bullpen beyond the fence in left-center for a 3-0 lead in the sixth.

Ludwick homered to one of the toughest spots in Petco Park.

"Didn't need it though," the slugger said. "The pitching staff's awesome. It's a lot of fun playing behind these guys. It's pretty impressive the way they go about it, so you can chalk this series up to pitchers. They did an outstanding job."

Said Duke: "It was a decent pitch. He just got enough of it."

Ludwick homered twice on Tuesday night, his first homers since being acquired from St. Louis in a three-team trade on July 31. He has 14 overall.

Garland provided San Diego's other run when he singled leading off the third, advanced on Jerry Hairston Jr.'s sacrifice bunt and scored on Tejada's double into the left-field corner.

Duke (5-11) allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked two.

"The Padres pitched extremely well this whole series," Duke said. "You know it's going to be a battle. Unfortunately, we came out on the short end of it."

Notes

Bell has converted 21 save chances since May 29. It's the longest streak of his career and the longest for San Diego since Trevor Hoffman converted 25 straight in 2007. ... The rest of the pitching matchups for the Padres-Giants series are Mat Latos versus Madison Bumgarner on Saturday and Wade LeBlanc against Tim Lincecum on Sunday. ... The Padres had their seventh sweep of the season. ... Coupled with his four hits and walk on Wednesday night, Gonzalez reached base eight straight times with two singles and Diaz's error on Thursday.

 
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

R. Ludwick
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Diego

J. Garland
IP 6.0
H 1
ER 0
BB 4
K 5
 

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Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andrew McCutchen, CF3000110 .279
Jose Tabata, LF4000010 .303
Neil Walker, 2B3010110 .303
Garrett Jones, 1B4000003 .261
Pedro Alvarez, 3B3000130 .239
Ryan Doumit, C3020000 .261
Delwyn Young, RF4000004 .252
Argenis Diaz, SS2010112 .400
   a- Ronny Cedeno, PH1000011 .245
Zach Duke, P2000002 .088
   b- Andy LaRoche, PH1000001 .221
    Chris Resop, P0000000 .000
    Joel Hanrahan, P0000000 .000
Totals3004048  
a-struck out for Diaz in the 9th
b-lined out for Duke in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Doumit (20, Garland)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Walker-Diaz-G. Jones, Diaz-Walker-G. Jones
E - Argenis Diaz (1, Throwing)
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Zach Duke (L,5-11) 6632321 5.20
Chris Resop 1000020 8.10
Joel Hanrahan 1000120 4.11
Pitches-Strikes - Zach Duke 90-55, Chris Resop 14-10, Joel Hanrahan 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zach Duke 10-5, Chris Resop 1-0
Batters Faced - Zach Duke 26, Chris Resop 3, Joel Hanrahan 4
San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B2000110 .256
Miguel Tejada, SS4011011 .267
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4120000 .299
Ryan Ludwick, RF3112102 .275
Chase Headley, 3B4000021 .270
Scott Hairston, LF3000000 .228
    Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Stairs, PH1000011 .179
    Heath Bell, P0000000 .000
Chris Denorfia, CF-LF2010100 .282
Nick Hundley, C3000012 .238
Jon Garland, P1110100 .200
    Tony Gwynn Jr., CF1000000 .211
Totals2836346  
a-struck out for Thatcher in the 8th
Batting
2B - Miguel Tejada (18, Duke)
HR - Ryan Ludwick (14, Duke)
SH - Jerry Hairston Jr. (4)
RBI - Miguel Tejada (43), Ryan Ludwick 2 (50)
SB - Chris Denorfia (6, 2nd base off Duke/Doumit)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hairston-Tejada-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Garland (W,11-8) 6100450 3.41
Luke Gregerson (H,28) 1.2200010 2.41
Joe Thatcher (H,8) 0.1000000 1.46
Heath Bell (S,34) 1100020 1.81
IBB - Diaz by Jon Garland
HBP - Doumit (by Jon Garland)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Garland 93-58, Luke Gregerson 17-13, Joe Thatcher 2-1, Heath Bell 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Garland 9-4, Luke Gregerson 2-1, Heath Bell 1-0
Batters Faced - Jon Garland 24, Luke Gregerson 6, Joe Thatcher 1, Heath Bell 4
Game Information
Attendance - 25897
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Victor Carapazza, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Dan Bellino