Eric Lauer had a pretty bad night. The Pirates took him for six runs over five innings, but the worst of it wasn’t his fault. Three of those runs were unearned, as his defense failed him miserably in the third inning. The offense wasn’t particularly bad, totally twelve hits with three Padres having multi-hit nights, but their timing left something to be desired. The Friars went just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left a frustrating ten runners on base.
Pittsburgh took the lead early and never looked back. Joshes Bell and Harrison hit back-to-back one-out singles in the first to put runners on the corners, and Josh Bell scored when a pitch got past Austin Hedges. Lauer bounced back to retire the next to Bucs and end the inning without more damage, but the Pirates launched a broadside in the third that sank him.
Starling Marte led off the third with a single and then swiped second. That was a bad start to the inning, but it was compounded by Hedges blowing the throw and giving Marte a free trip to third. Bell hit a double to plate Marte, and went to third when Josh Harrison followed with another single. Lauer finally got an out when he fanned David Freese, but an error from Freddy Galvis on the very next play put Elias Diaz on first, Harrison on second, and Bell across the plate. Corey Dickerson struck out to bring Gregory Polanco to the plate, and he hit a two-run, bases-clearing double to put the Pirates up 5-0. The one saving grace was that Polanco ran himself out at third to end the inning, but the damage was done. Jordy Mercer led off the fourth with a solo shot, but nobody was counting at that point.
While the Padres bullpen was getting in some solid practice in the late innings, the offense worked to avoid a shutout. Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers led off the eighth with a pair of singles, and both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Cory Spangenberg grounded into the first out of the inning, but it ended the shutout and put Wil on third. Christian Villanueva singled Wil home, and the Friars looked at least somewhat like a big league team. Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot combined a double and a single in the ninth for one more run, but the Padres never got close to a comeback.
Hopefully Joey Lucchesi has a better night tomorrow. He’ll be tossing the first pitch at 7:10 PM.