Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) – Adrian Gonzalez capped a four-run second inning with a sacrifice fly, and San Diego continued to thrive in the Steel City, posting a 5-3 victory over the Pirates in the opener of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Chris Denorfia stroked an RBI double for the Padres, who are 21-9 at Pittsburgh since the start of the 2001 season. Kevin Correia (7-6) gave up three runs — two earned — on six hits and three walks in six innings to record his first road win since April 28. He also had a run-scoring single.
Lastings Milledge contributed a two-run single for the Pirates, while Paul Maholm (6-8), coming off a three-hit shutout against Houston in his last start, was tagged for four runs and nine hits over six full frames.
The Padres were the beneficiaries of a call at the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Tabata was aboard via a swinging bunt and Delwyn Young walked before a Neil Walker flyout put men on the corners. Garrett Jones then hit the ball to the first baseman Gonzalez, who threw a one-hopper to catcher Yorvit Torrealba. Home plate umpire Bill Welke eventually called Tabata out, although replays showed the rookie outfielder did touch the plate before Torrealba applied the delayed tag.
A leadoff triple by Aaron Cunningham spurred a four-run second for San Diego. Oscar Salazar reached on an infield single and Everth Cabrera walked to load the bases for Correia, who helped his own cause with a run-scoring single through the left side.
Sacrifice flies by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Gonzalez sandwiched around a Denorfia double staked Correia to an early 4-0 lead.
Pittsburgh got on the board in the fourth. Walker worked a walk to begin the inning, and Pedro Alvarez beat out an infield single, with both runners moving into scoring position on Cabrera’s throwing error. Milledge then halved the Pirates’ deficit with a line drive to left field.
It became a one-run game in the fifth when Ronny Cedeno led off with a double and came around to score on consecutive groundouts by Maholm and Tabata.
Brendan Donnelly took the mound for Pittsburgh in the seventh and walked all three batters he faced. D.J. Carrasco replaced the veteran right-hander and was able to limit the damage to one run on a sac fly by pinch-hitter Will Venable.
San Diego’s Ernesto Frieri struck out the side in the seventh, Luke Gregerson tossed a 1-2-3 eighth and Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his 28th save of the season.
The NL West-leading Padres have won six of their last eight games…Friday’s game marked the first meeting of the season between San Diego and Pittsburgh. The Padres took four of seven last year.