Aug 22, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Andrew Werner reacts during the second inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Pirates Vs. Padres: San Diego Sweeps Bucs

An unheralded rookie named Andrew Werner pitched a quality start against the Pirates Wednesday.

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Pirates Vs. Padres Recap: Bucs Swept In San Diego

The Pirates lost 4-2 in San Diego Wednesday against an undrafted free agent lefty named Andrew Werner who has weak-looking stuff and was making his major-league debut. The loss capped a sweep for the Padres that really wasn't the Pirates' finest hour. Werner went six innings and walked four batters, but the Pirates failed to hit him hard, mostly generating one ground-ball out after another.

James McDonald gave up three in the first after he walked the first three batters, then allowed a two-run double by Carlos Quentin and a sacrifice fly. The Pirates got one back in the fourth off Pedro Alvarez's RBI single, but went down by three again in the fifth when Will Venable doubled and Quentin's single brought him home. Gaby Sanchez's solo homer in the seventh was the the only offense the Pirates could muster thereafter, as Brad Brach, Luke Gregerson and Tommy Layne proceeded to shut the Bucs down.

McDonald walked five batters in five innings in the loss.

The Pirates have a much-needed day off Thursday before kicking off a series against the Brewers.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Pirates Vs. Padres: Pittsburgh Looks To Avoid Sweep Wednesday Night

The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to avoid a series sweep at the hands of the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, when the two teams conclude a three-game set at Petco Park in San Diego.

Coming off a disappointing walk-off loss on Tuesday night, the Pirates will look to rebound in the final game of a six-game road stand. With the club clinging to the final wild card playoff spot in the National League, Pittsburgh will have plenty of incentive to avoid a sweep by one of the NL's worst teams.

Despite sitting one spot out of the cellar in the West, the Padres have bounced back from a five-game losing streak at the end of last week by winning their last three games. The club will look to extend the streak to four on Wednesday.

The projected starters are James McDonald for the Pirates (11-5, 3.61 ERA), and Andrew Werner, who will be making his major league debut for the Padres.

First pitch is at 6:35 p.m., ET.

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.


Padres Vs. Pirates: Clint Hurdle Explains Bizarre Decisions

The Pittsburgh Pirates fell, 7-5, on Tuesday night to the San Diego Padres in 10 innings at Petco Park.

On most nights when a team loses in walk-off fashion, as the Pirates did thanks to Chase Headley's two-run blast, the fan base feels disappointed. In this case, many just feel confused by the curious decisions of manager Clint Hurdle.

Hurdle decided to bring in right-handed relievers Chad Qualls and Daniel McCutchen in a close game. It proved to be his undoing, as the Pirates were lit up in the late innings. Despite all of this, Hurdle defended his logic after the game, according to Bucs Dugout's summary of events and the tweets of Bill Brink.

"We’re seeing things we like to see and we’ve seen it that past when he’s been effective."

Qualls has been roughed up all year, compiling a 5.36 ERA in 51 games this season.

As for bringing in McCutchen, Hurdle explains his move in a curious fashion. Again, according to Brink:

"Daniel went through one of those last year," referring to to 19-inning game

Again, it doesn't make a ton of sense on the surface with relievers like Joel Hanrahan on the bench, but that's why Hurdle gets paid the big bucks.

For more on the Pirates, please be sure to check out our blog Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for all the latest news and updates.


Pirates Vs. Padres: Terrible Decisions Pave Way For 7-5 Loss In Extra Innings

The Pirates blundered their way to a 7-5, 10-inning loss to the Padres on Tuesday in a ridiculous mess of a game that they might have won, if only they'd wanted to.

A.J. Burnett gave up two runs in the first, but the Bucs cut the lead in half in the third, thanks in part to an error by Alexi Amarista. Burnett escaped bases-loaded situations in the third and fifth without allowing any runs, and in the sixth, the Pirates tied the game on a solo homer by Garrett Jones and an RBI double by Rod Barajas.

In the bottom of the inning, though, the Padres singled twice, then loaded the bases when Barajas couldn't handle Everth Cabrera's bunt. Then Jones misplayed a ball at first, allowing San Diego to score the tying run. Burnett managed to leave the bases loaded yet again after that, but the Padres took the lead the following inning on a sacrifice fly, then added an insurance run to make it 5-3 in the eighth when Clint Hurdle sent in his worst reliever, Chad Qualls.

Jones hit a dramatic two-run homer off Dale Thayer in the top of the ninth to tie the game, and then Jason Grilli made his way through the bottom half of the inning, getting some help from Andrew McCutchen, who made a great running catch in center field.

The Pirates failed to score in the top of the 10th, and then Hurdle inserted his second-worst reliever, Daniel McCutchen, who like Qualls had been added to the active roster earlier in the day in a pair of moves that saw the Pirates ship out two superior relievers in Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson. McCutchen promptly allowed a walk, then hung a changeup for Chase Headley, who blasted it about 15 rows into the seats to end the game with a score of 7-5. Clint Hurdle's bullpen management was aggressively horrible; closer Joel Hanrahan never made his way into the game.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Pirates Vs. Padres Lineups: Neil Walker Batting Cleanup

The lineups are set for the second game in a three-game set between the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres. The Padres took the first game by a score of 3-1 on Monday.

The Pirates will roll out a very similar lineup to the one they featured Monday night, but with one small change. Second baseman Neil Walker will move into the cleanup spot and first baseman Garrett Jones will bat fifth. Walker recorded the Pirates' only RBI of the game on Monday after missing four starts with an injured finger, and the Pirates are hoping his success continues on Tuesday.

Here is the Pirates' full lineup for Tuesday's game against Jason Marquis and the Padres:

Pittsburgh Pirates:

1. Jose Tabata, LF
2. Travis Snider, RF
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Neil Walker, 2B
5. Garrett Jones, 1B
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
7. Clint Barmes, SS
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. A.J. Burnett, SP

For more on the Pirates; check out Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Pirates Vs. Padres Preview: A.J. Burnett Tries For 16th Win

The Pirates look to rebound after Monday's 3-1 loss to the Padres with A.J. Burnett on the mound.


Pirates Vs. Padres Final Score: Bucs Lose 3-1 Despite Strong Debuts From Kyle McPherson, Justin Wilson

Kevin Correia allowed three early-inning runs Monday night, and the Padres took full advantage, winning 3-1.

Correia pitched two innings in the Pirates' 19-inning game against the Cardinals on Sunday, but the Pirates elected to start him over new additions Kyle McPherson and Justin Wilson. Correia gave up two runs in a first inning keyed by a leadoff double by Everth Cabrera, and one in the second on singles by Cameron Maybin, Cabrera, and Will Venable.

Edinson Volquez struck out 10 batters for the Padres, and the Pirates only got to him in the sixth, when Andrew McCutchen singled, advanced on an error, moved to third on a groundout, and came home on a line-drive single by Neil Walker.

McPherson pitched two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, and Wilson allowed two singles but had three strikeouts in his sole inning in the eighth. In retrospect, it might have been better for the Pirates to start one of them over Correia.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Pirates Promote Kyle McPherson, Justin Wilson; Drop Juan Cruz

The Pirates have made a variety of moves prior to Monday night's game against the Padres.

First, Kevin Correia will start the game. Correia pitched two innings in Sunday's 19-inning marathon, so his outing may be short. The Bucs have promoted pitchers Justin Wilson and Kyle McPherson to the big club, and presumably at least one of them will be needed Monday night. To make room, the Bucs have placed Jordy Mercer on paternity leave and designated reliever Juan Cruz for assignment.

Cruz's traditional numbers this year have been good, but his advanced one haven't, thanks to high fly ball and walk rates.

Reliever Chad Qualls is scheduled to return from the bereavement list Monday, so it appears the Pirates will have to make an additional move to clear space for him on the active roster. It's also possible the Pirates might wait to reinstate him until Tuesday, when it's possible that either McPherson or Wilson will be back in the minors.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.


Pirates Vs. Padres: Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Pirates head west to play the Padres on Monday with no sure starter in line to pitch.

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