San Diego at Pittsburgh

Scoreboard
San Diego (70-80) «0031001005141
Pittsburgh (87-64)002000000270

Gyorko's three-run blast helps Padres stump Pirates again

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- San Diego Padres rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko invited friends and family to watch him play in Pittsburgh this week, hoping he could do enough to make the hour ride up from Morgantown, W.Va., worth the trouble.

Done.

Gyorko had a three-run homer among his three hits and the Padres dropped the Pirates 5-2 on Tuesday night.

"It's nice to get that kind of support," Gyorko said. "But I think probably every one of those people have seen me hit a home run at one time or another before, so I don't know if it's a big deal to them or not."

Maybe, but it's a big deal to the Padres, who won for the 10th time in 14 games and put a dent in Pittsburgh's pursuit of its first NL Central title. Ronny Cedeno added three hits for San Diego.

Eric Stults (9-13) allowed two runs over five innings to pick up his first victory in more than two months. Stults struck out five and walked one to end a string of 10 consecutive winless starts. Luke Gregerson worked the ninth for his fourth save.

"It's definitely good to get one," Stults said. "It's one of those things that maybe it'll be a little confidence boost, I've thrown some games where I've had some tough luck and others where I've put in a position to win and it just didn't happen."

Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 3 and Marlon Byrd drove in both of Pittsburgh's runs but the Pirates continued to have problems with the Padres.

Jeff Locke (10-6) struggled with his command, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out five and walking three as his second-half struggles reappeared.

A night after Andrew Cashner's fired the 19th one-hitter in Padres' history behind a series of 97 mph fastballs, Stults handcuffed the Pirates with slower stuff.

San Diego improved to 30-10 in Pittsburgh since the ballpark opened in 2001 as Stults and his series of slow, slower and slowest offspeed pitches to keep the Pirates off balance.

At one point, he retired Pedro Alvarez on a 66 mph changeup and dropped it down to 64 mph to get Josh Harrison to ground meekly to third.

It was enough to prevent one of the National League's top-hitting teams against left-handers from cashing in Pittsburgh tries to keep pace with St. Louis and Cincinnati in a crowded playoff race.

"Everybody's aware of where we are, what's going on," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said "At the end of the day, we had a couple of opportunities we didn't maximize on."

Locke briefly regained his All-Star form in his last start, when he handcuffed the Chicago Cubs for seven innings to pick up his first win in nearly two months.

The good vibes disappeared in the third, when Gyorko took an 89 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and sent it into the bleachers in left field for his 19th homer of the season.

The Pirates drew within one in the bottom of the inning thanks to a little help from San Diego right fielder Kyle Blanks, who stumbled trying to track down a sinking line drive by Byrd, allowing two runs to score.

Byrd tried to tie the game one batter later when Gaby Sanchez's infield chopper was mishandled by Gyorko at second base. The ball trickled behind Gyorko but Cedeno -- who spent three mostly forgettable seasons in Pittsburgh from 2009-2011 -- picked it up and fired home to throw out Byrd as he attempted to score from second.

Pittsburgh would get no closer. Cedeno singled leading off the fifth and came around to score and Pittsburgh's offense disappeared against a trio of Cincinnati relievers.

The Pirates managed just two base runners over the final four innings, with Cedeno providing a highlight play from deep shortstop against Byrd in the eighth to provide an exclamation point as Pittsburgh stumbled again.

"It feels good to come in and contribute," Cedeno said. "That is why they signed me, to help win some ballgames and I feel like I've been able to do that both with my glove and with my bat."

Notes

Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte went 1 for 3 in his first start since suffering a contusion to his right index finger on Aug. 18 ... Pittsburgh C Russell Martin caught his major league-leading 29th base stealer in the ninth when he nailed Will Venable at second ... Padres LHP Cory Luebke will be examined by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tim Kremchek in Cincinnati later this week. Luebke has been shut down for the season as he attempts to come back from Tommy John surgery in May 2012 ... The series continues on Wednesday when Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.54 ERA) faces San Diego's Tyson Ross (3-8, 3.29 ERA).

 
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Padres catcher Nick Hundley tags out Marlon Byrd, who tries to score from second on Gaby Sanchez's infield single.  (USATSI)
Padres catcher Nick Hundley tags out Marlon Byrd, who tries to score from second on Gaby Sanchez's infield single. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
San Diego

J. Gyorko
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
Pittsburgh

M. Byrd
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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San Diego Padres
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Chris Denorfia, LF5110012 .267
Will Venable, CF-RF5120011 .273
Jedd Gyorko, 2B5233011 .248
Chase Headley, 3B3010201 .246
Tommy Medica, 1B4021110 .308
Kyle Blanks, RF2000111 .253
   Alexi Amarista, CF2000003 .251
Ronny Cedeno, SS4130010 .263
Nick Hundley, C4010013 .236
Eric Stults, P1000002 .161
   a-Chris Robinson, PH1000000 .000
   Tim Stauffer, P0000000 .000
   b-Mark Kotsay, PH1010000 .194
   Reymond Fuentes, PR0000000 .150
   Nick Vincent, P0000000 .000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
Totals37514447  
a-grounded out for Stults in the 6th
b-singled for Stauffer in the 8th
Batting
2B - Nick Hundley (19, Locke)
HR - Jedd Gyorko (19, Locke)
RBI - Jedd Gyorko 3 (51), Tommy Medica (4)
CS - Will Venable (6, 2nd base by Hughes/Martin), Chase Headley (3, 2nd base by Locke/Martin)
Team LOB - 10
San Diego Padres
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Eric Stults (W,9-13) 5722150 4.02
Tim Stauffer (H,6) 2000020 3.41
Nick Vincent (H,8) 1000000 2.40
Luke Gregerson (S,4) 1000100 2.83
HBP - Marte (by Tim Stauffer)
Pitches-Strikes - Eric Stults 89-57, Tim Stauffer 20-16, Nick Vincent 10-7, Luke Gregerson 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Eric Stults 7-2, Tim Stauffer 4-0, Nick Vincent 2-1, Luke Gregerson 3-0
Batters Faced - Eric Stults 22, Tim Stauffer 7, Nick Vincent 3, Luke Gregerson 4
Pittsburgh Pirates
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Starling Marte, LF3010011 .282
Jordy Mercer, SS3000011 .276
   a-Garrett Jones, PH1000001 .236
   Clint Barmes, SS0000000 .219
Andrew McCutchen, CF3120100 .326
Marlon Byrd, RF4012023 .289
Gaby Sanchez, 1B2020001 .256
   b-Justin Morneau, PH-1B2000000 .258
Russell Martin, C4000011 .229
Pedro Alvarez, 3B4000001 .228
Josh Harrison, 2B2000011 .244
   c-Neil Walker, PH-2B1000110 .248
Jeff Locke, P1110000 .106
   d-Jose Tabata, PH1000000 .273
   Vin Mazzaro, P0000000 .167
   Bryan Morris, P0000000 .200
   e-Travis Snider, PH1000000 .219
   Jared Hughes, P0000000 .000
   Kris Johnson, P0000000 .000
   f-Andrew Lambo, PH1000001 .208
Totals3327227  
a-grounded out for Mercer in the 7th
b-grounded out for G. Sanchez in the 6th
c-struck out for Harrison in the 7th
d-grounded out for Locke in the 5th
e-grounded out for Morris in the 7th
f-grounded out for Johnson in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andrew McCutchen (38, Stults), Marlon Byrd (34, Stults)
RBI - Marlon Byrd 2 (83)
2-OUT RBI - Marlon Byrd 2 (30)
SB - Pedro Alvarez (2, 2nd base off Stults/Hundley)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Harrison-Mercer-G. Sanchez, Harrison-Mercer-G. Sanchez-Harrison-Morneau
Pittsburgh Pirates
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeff Locke (L,10-6) 5744351 3.27
Vin Mazzaro 1100010 2.52
Bryan Morris 1311000 3.67
Jared Hughes 1.2300110 4.70
Kris Johnson 0.1000000 6.10
WP - Jeff Locke (7)
HBP - Stults (by Jeff Locke)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Locke 89-55, Vin Mazzaro 17-11, Bryan Morris 16-9, Jared Hughes 24-16, Kris Johnson 6-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Locke 3-5, Vin Mazzaro 2-0, Bryan Morris 2-0, Jared Hughes 1-2, Kris Johnson 1-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Locke 24, Vin Mazzaro 4, Bryan Morris 5, Jared Hughes 8, Kris Johnson 1
Game Information
Attendance - 22520
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman