Padres 6, Pirates 5

The Pittsburgh Pirates nearly kept up their winning road ways,

but will have to wait to hit that elusive .500 mark.

The Pirates held a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the

seventh, when relievers Mike Crotta and Joe Beimel combined to

allow San Diego to tie the score. Rob Johnson then homered in the

eighth off Beimel to give San Diego a 6-5 win on Tuesday night.

After going 17-64 on the road last year, Pirates came in with a

10-7 road record. Pittsburgh fell to 14-16 overall.

Heath Bell came on in the ninth inning and tied Trevor Hoffman’s

club record with his 41st consecutive save, but not before the

Pirates threatened.

Bell walked Brandon Wood to lead off the ninth. After a

sacrifice bunt, Bell bounced a pitch in the dirt and Wood took off

for third base. Johnson pounced on the ball and fired a low strike

to Chase Headley for the second out. Bell then struck out

pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit to end the game.

”You see (the ball) in the dirt and it’s just a reaction to

take off,” Wood said. ”In that situation, I felt comfortable with

it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle wasn’t sure Wood’s play was

smart.

”You’re already in scoring position and if you’re safe, we’re

all happy,” Hurdle said. ”But he pushed the envelope a little

bit. At times you have to be smart, so when you’re out at third

like that, it never looks good.”

Johnson’s first home run of the season came off Beimel (0-1) and

gave the Padres just their fifth home win in 17 games, still the

majors’ worst home record.

Bell’s 41st consecutive save, and seventh in seven chances this

year, tied the team record set by Hoffman, the career saves leader.

It also tied Bell with Hoffman and Rod Beck for fourth place on the

all-time list.

Mike Adams (1-0) pitched one inning for the win.

The home run was Johnson’s first since last May 18, when he

played for Seattle.

Starting pitcher Mat Latos and Eric Patterson also homered for

San Diego.

After the Pirates had taken a 5-3 lead in the seventh with three

runs off reliever Luke Gregerson, San Diego rallied to tie the

score at 5-all in the bottom of the inning.

Chris Denorfia and Jason Bartlett each had consecutive infield

singles in the seventh against Mike Crotta. Patterson’s bunt down

the third-base line off Beimel loaded the bases. The left-handed

Beimel then walked Ryan Ludwick to force in one run, and another

scored on Jorge Cantu’s double-play ground ball.

Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz doubled in one run in the Pittsburgh

seventh and Andrew McCutchen followed with a two-run single to give

the Pirates a 5-3 lead.

The Pirates’ seventh-inning rally against Gregerson prevented

Latos from winning for the first time since Sept. 7. Latos had lost

nine straight games in nine straight starts since last season,

which tied the club record.

Latos, who lost his first four starts this season, allowed two

runs and five hits over six innings. The right-hander gave up Neil

Walker’s two-run double in the first.

He also led off the third with a homer into the second deck in

left field. It was his first this season and the second career home

run for Latos, a career .088 hitter.

Patterson, who came into the game hitting .071 (2 for 28), hit a

solo homer to center field to tie the game at 2-all. Patterson

hadn’t homered since last July 10 for Boston at Tampa Bay.

Ludwick followed with a double and scored on Cameron Maybin’s

two-out single to put San Diego ahead.

Patterson replaced second baseman Orlando Hudson, who left the

game with a right hamstring strain after he doubled in the first

inning.

Notes: Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez left the game after the fifth

inning with tightness in his right quad. … San Diego scored more

than three runs for only the fourth time in 17 home games this

season. … Latos’ homer was the first by a Padres pitcher at Petco

Park, which opened in 2004. His other home run came last season on

July 8 at Washington. … The last Padres pitcher to hit a home run

in San Diego was Adam Eaton on April 29, 2003, against

Pittsburgh.