Padres 15, Pirates 5

Chase Headley watched Jeff Karstens issue a bases-loaded walk to

Jason Bartlett, and he knew exactly what to do.

Be aggressive.

Headley’s first-pitch grand slam was the biggest of San Diego’s

season-high four homers, and the Padres cruised past Pittsburgh

15-5 Friday night, handing the Pirates their eighth straight


”I’m going up there looking for something early in the count,”

said Headley, who capped San Diego’s six-run fourth inning with a

drive to right-center for the Padres’ first grand slam of the

season. ”I go up there with the idea of what I want to hit and

where I want to hit it.”

Kyle Blanks, Aaron Cunningham and Jesus Guzman also homered for

the Padres, who have won seven straight games at PNC Park. Luis

Martinez had three RBIs and Will Venable drove in two runs.

San Diego came in ranked last in the NL in runs and homers.

”You ask anybody, they’ll tell you hitting’s contagious,”

Blanks said.

”It’s definitely something everyone wants to do, and it really

became a case tonight where everyone did get involved.”

The Pirates were tied for first place before losing on a

controversial call in the 19th inning in Atlanta on July 26. They

are 1-10 since and fell eight games behind Milwaukee.

”We need to step up. We know it. We’ve talked about it,”

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. ”We need action now, and we

need to find a way to fight through the hard part of the


It was the highest scoring game of the season for the Padres and

the most runs allowed by Pittsburgh this year.

Headley’s homer gave San Diego the lead for good, allowing Aaron

Harang (10-3) to get the win despite allowing 13 hits in five


The crowd of 37,766 was Pittsburgh’s 13th sellout of the season,

but the Pirates lost for the eighth time in their past nine home

games. The Pirates have allowed 14 home runs while falling to 0-5

on this homestand.

”It’s the big leagues: If you pitch the ball down the middle,

they’re doing what they’re supposed to do with it,” Karstens said.

”I just think we’ve got to be better than what we are, and we’re

not doing that right now. We’ve got to make adjustments, because if

not, it’s not going to be fun the next two months.”

Karstens (8-6) entered with the fifth-lowest ERA in the majors

at 2.49, but he was charged with more earned runs (nine) in 3 1-3

innings Friday than he had allowed in his past five starts


”I couldn’t pinpoint what I was doing wrong, but I put it all

on my shoulders,” Karstens said. ”I expect to be better than


Headley’s homer was his fourth of the season and gave him a

career-high five RBIs. It also was San Diego’s first grand slam

since Adrian Gonzalez hit one on Aug. 26, 2010.

Blanks and Cunningham each had a solo shot for their first

homers of the season. Guzman added a two-run homer in the


Harang won for the sixth time in seven decisions and rebounded

from his only loss since May 2. Only once in 252 previous starts,

however, had Harang allowed more hits.

”Sometimes, that’s how it works,” he said. ”When I was making

good pitches, they were getting the ball to fall in at times.

Obviously, our offense came out swinging and those guys were ready

to play and helped me out.”

Five days after being acquired in a trade from the Padres, Ryan

Ludwick went 4 for 4 for the Pirates. Garrett Jones reached five

times as Pittsburgh lost by 10 despite having as many hits as San

Diego and coming up one hit short of a season high.

The Pirates did leave a season-high 16 men on base. Pedro

Alvarez was a primary culprit: he tied a Pirates record by

grounding into three double plays. He also struck out and committed

an error.

”I really like the way our guys kept playing through the entire

nine innings,” Padres manager Bud Black said. ”Our pitching

wasn’t at the top of its game but we ended up making pitches when

we needed to.”

NOTES: Venable (back spasms) was in the lineup for the first

time in a week. … Padres OF Chris Denorfia (strained right

hamstring) worked out before the game and is expected to return

soon. … Pittsburgh 1B Derrek Lee did not play for the second

consecutive game after being hit by a pitch in the left hand

Wednesday night. … Padres INF/OF Brad Hawpe underwent

season-ending surgery on his left elbow in San Diego. … LHP Paul

Maholm starts for the Pirates on Saturday. He is 0-3 lifetime

against the Padres.