SAN DIEGO — So much for the standout defense and the superb pitching that has kept the Padres winning in the midst of their severe hitting slump.
The throw, the slip and home runs--all coming from unlikely sources--did them in Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh beat the Padres, 6-4, in front of 15,816 at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium.
What was that about the Padres using this homestand to beat up on the weak teams in the Eastern Division?
The Padres won three of four from Chicago, but Pittsburgh took two of three. The Pirates ended up winning five of six at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium this season.
Wednesday night, the Pirates took advantage of Padre mistakes.
The throw: In the top of the first, Marvell Wynne, who has been excellently in center field, hit Joe Orsulak with a throw as Orsulak tagged up at second. The unlucky one-hop throw was on line, but the ball hit Orsulak and bounced down the left-field line. Orsulak scored and Wynne was charged with an error. The Pirates led, 1-0.
The Padres had played eight straight errorless games and were attempting to tie the team record set from July 3-12 in 1979.
Home Run Ball No. 1: Lance McCullers, making his second major league start, had allowed only three home runs going into Wednesday, the fewest on the staff.
Johnny Ray hit a 2-0 pitch over the right-field wall to make it 2-0 in the first inning.
The Padres tied the score with two runs in the first. Wynne led off with a triple to right and came home on a wild pitch by Mike Bielecki. A walk to Kevin McReynolds, a single by Steve Garvey and run-scoring groundout to short by Garry Templeton tied the score.
The slip: McReynolds, who has been steady in left field, slipped as soon as Ray sliced a fly toward him in the third. McReynolds never recovered as the ball tailed away toward the left-field line and resulted in a run-scoring double. The Pirates led, 3-2.
"It was a sloppy game for both sides," said Padre Manager Steve Boros. "Lots of bases on balls and 3-2 counts, and I think that put the fielders to sleep a little."
San Diego tied the score in the bottom of the third on a misplay by Orsulak in center field. Gwynn was credited with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Templeton.
Home Run Ball No. 2: Orsulak led off the fifth with a homer to right off McCullers. A Sid Bream single and R.J. Reynolds double made it 5-3.
McCullers' second major league start was not nearly as auspicious as his first, when he pitched 6 shutout innings against the Cubs Friday night. Against the Pirates, he was unlucky, but still allowed five earned runs on eight hits in five innings.
"Lance was not sharp," Boros said. "He had problems. He couldn't get his slider and changeup over and he paid for it. But we had to be patient and stay with him because we were short in the bullpen."
PADRES AT A GLANCE
Scorecard FIRST INNING
Pirates--Orsulak singled to center and stole second. Mazzilli flew to center. Orsulak tagged up and scored on Wynne's throwing error from center field. Ray homered to right, his third. Bream singled to right and stole second. Reynolds grounded to the pitcher, Bream moving to third. Pena struck out swinging. Two runs, three hits, one error, one left.
Padres--Wynne tripled to right. Gwynn called out on strikes. Wynne scored on a wild pitch from Bielecki. McReynolds walked. Garvey singled to center, McReynolds moving to third. Templeton grounded to short, McReynolds scoring and Garvey moving to second. Garvey moved to third on a wild pitch from Bielecki. Nettles struck out swinging. Two runs, two hits, one left.
Pirates--With one out, Mazzilli singled to right. Ray doubled to left, Mazzilli scoring. Bream walked. Reynolds flew to left. Pena struck out swinging. One run, two hits, two left.
Padres--Gwynn doubled to center. McReynolds grounded to short, Gwynn moving to third. Garvey walked. Gwynn scored on Templeton's sacrifice fly to left. Nettles flew to left. One run, one hit, one left.
Pirates--Orsulak homered to right, his second. Mazzilli struck out swinging. Ray flew to left. Bream singled to right and stole second. Reynolds doubled to right, Bream scoring. Two runs, three hits, one left.
Padres--Clements replaced Bielecki on the mound. With two out, Kennedy homered to right, his seventh. Flannery grounded out, first baseman to the pitcher. One run, one hit.
Pirates--Walter replaced Stoddard on the mound. Orsulak walked. Mazzilli walked. Ray bounced into a fielders choice, Mazzilli out at second and Orsulak moving to third. Orsulak scored on sacrifice fly to left by Bream. Reynolds bounced to third. One run, one left.