After Friday night's explosive finish, tonight featured more of a pitchers' duel as Tyson Ross took on Charlie Morton. Despite a rough start, Ross went six innings and allowed just two earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks. But it wasn't enough to top Morton, who gave up a single earned run on three hits and a walk in his seven innings on the mound.
The Pirates got on the board first with an unearned run. With two outs in the top of the first, Andrew McCutchen hit a single to right field. Starling Marte followed that with what should have been an inning-ending grounder to third, but Will Middlebrooks spiked the throw to first. Neil Walker's single up the middle plated McCutchen to put Pittsburgh on top. Ross walked Pedro Alvarez to load the bases, but got out of the jam with a grounder from Francisco Cervelli. The Padres bounced back immediately with a leadoff walk from Will Venable and a double from Yangervis Solarte.
That tie didn't last long. Jody Mercer led off the second with a single, and then stole second. Josh Harrison's one-out single sent Mercer home safely. Another single and another walk loaded the bases yet again, but Ross got Marte to ground into a double play. Ross found a groove on that play as he retired eleven consecutive batters.
The good guys got back in the game with an unearned run of their own in the fourth inning. On his giveaway jersey night, Matt Kemp hit a one-out single to left and moved into scoring position on Derek Norris's bloop in the same direction. Cory Spangenberg hit an easy grounder to first that should have been a double play, but Alvarez bounced the throw to second and Kemp scored easily. Will Middlebrooks gave the Pirates another shot to turn two, and this time they succeeded and ended any further damage the Padres might cause.
Ross's consecutive retired batters streak ended in the sixth when Alvarez hit a one-out double up the middle. He then beaned Cervelli, and Mercer hit an infield single to once again load the bases. Morton followed up with a slow grounder, but Alvarez had a good jump and the Padres only had a play at first. That put the Pirates up 3-2, which would have been enough, but they got two more runs off Kevin Quackenbush in the ninth.
Odrisamer Despaigne will try to salvage a series split tomorrow. Late 6:10 PM start due to the marathon.
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