San Diego 7, Pittsburgh 1
When: 9:10 PM ET, Sunday, May 31, 2015
Where: Petco Park, San Diego, California
Jeff Nelson, 1B -
Lazaro Diaz, 2B -
Cory Blaser, 3B -
SAN DIEGO -- This split came with a splatter.
The San Diego Padres thumped the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1 on Sunday night to win for the second time in this four-game series.
An early offensive assault carried the Padres as they coasted through the final innings after charging ahead by seven runs.
Padres third baseman Will Middlebrooks hit a home run and drove in three runs, while shortstop Clint Barmes and left fielder Justin Upton each had three hits.
It was a welcome site for a Padres' attack which has been up-and-down.
"When this all plays out and we move forward into the season, I think you'll see things be a little more consistent on the offensive side," Padres manager Bud Black said.
San Diego scored seven runs in the first four innings, which was more than enough for starter Odrisamer Despaigne (3-3), who pitched a career-high eight innings, allowing one run on seven hits. He struck out four and walked one.
Cory Mazzoni pitched the ninth for the Padres.
Jeff Locke (3-3) took the loss after working four innings, surrendering seven runs (six earned) on eight hits. He had three strikeouts and three walks in failing to win for the second consecutive time.
"He's not throwing enough strikes to be effective," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He was behind in the count."
"We just fell behind too many people tonight and were forced to make pitches in hitters' counts," Locke said. "And they put some good swings on some balls."
Of late Despaigne has become a reliable starter, although he doesn't have much to show for it. In his previous outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Despaigne didn't allow a run in 5 2/3 innings but got a no-decision. In his appearance before that against the Chicago Cubs, he took the loss despite giving up two runs in six innings.
However, support wasn't an issue against the Pirates, as the Padres shelled Locke.
"Overall, my stuff was good," Despaigne said through a translator. "I was hitting my spots, my command was good. I think I was able to hit the corners."
The Pirates' lone run came in the seventh when right fielder Gregory Polanco hit his third home run of the season.
Middlebrooks' sacrifice fly in the fourth was good for his third RBI and pushed the Padres ahead 7-0.
San Diego increased its cushion to 6-0 in the third when Barmes' one-out single chased home center fielder Will Venable. That was after Middlebrooks redirected a 90 mph Locke fastball for a homer. Before Middlebrooks smacked his seventh home run, second only to Upton (12) on the team, right fielder Matt Kemp singled.
The Padres grew their lead to 3-0 in the second inning, with a little help from the Pirates.
Barmes opened with a single and was sacrificed to second by Despaigne. Catcher Derek Norris hit a line drive that went off first baseman's Pedro Alvarez's glove for an error, allowing Barmes to score.
A two-run first inning gave Despaigne some breathing room. Solarte singled, then Norris and Kemp walked. Second baseman Jed Gyorko followed with a broken-bat single to center field, with Yangervis Solarte and Norris scoring.
"We had a chance to get out of it in the first and Gyorko got that base hit," Locke said. "It's kind of frustrating."
The Pirates could say the same about trying to decipher Despaigne, the pitcher with many speeds and arm angles.
"He has gotten back to being the aggressor," Black said. "I think he has gotten back to setting the tone with the fastball strike."
Gyorko is optimistic that the Padres have turned a corner.
"I think we're playing pretty good baseball right now," he said. "The pitchers have been throwing the ball pretty well the last 10 days or so and we're starting to get that timely hitting when we need it. When we put that together, it c
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary