Pirates 4, Padres 3

Manager Clint Hurdle had simple instructions for his Pittsburgh

Pirates heading into the opener of a three-game series against the

San Diego Padres at spacious Petco Park.

”Look for the grass,” Hurdle said.

The Pirates did better than that. Garrett Jones and Chris Snyder

each hit a two-run homer in the first inning to back James

McDonald, and the Pirates beat the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Monday

night.

”We hit two out and we didn’t see a whole lot of grass,”

Hurdle said, referring to the Pirates winning with just six hits.

”I think we shot more balls into the dugout than we did out in the

field for hits. We played a complete game. We had two hits after

the first inning and our pitching held up.”

The Pirates snapped a nine-game losing streak to San Diego

dating to 2009. They’ve won four of six overall, including

consecutive games for the first time since April 17-18.

The Padres, coming off two straight wins at Dodger Stadium,

still haven’t won three straight this season. San Diego had the

potential tying run on third base with two outs in the ninth before

Will Venable hit into a force play.

The Padres wore their camouflage jerseys to honor the military a

day after President Barack Obama announced that terrorist leader

Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan. The Padres

normally wear the jerseys for Sunday home games. They gave two free

tickets to any active or retired military personnel who showed

proper ID.

McDonald (2-2) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings,

struck out five and walked one. Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth for

his ninth save in nine chances.

The Pirates hit Aaron Harang (4-2) hard in the first inning to

take a 4-0 lead, and the pitcher hurt himself with an error.

Xavier Paul singled with one out and Jones followed with a shot

into the seats down the right-field line, his sixth. Neil Walker

singled and advanced to third on Harang’s errant pickoff throw to

first with two outs. Snyder followed with a shot into the

left-field seats, his first.

”I think that whole first inning was big,” Snyder said. ”It

definitely gave us some comfort, gave J-Mac some comfort. He went

out, did his part, got his six innings in, handed it over to the

bullpen and we tried to make it a little interesting, but a win’s a

win.”

Six of San Diego’s 17 errors this season have been by starting

pitchers.

McDonald allowed Jorge Cantu’s two-run homer into the balcony on

the second deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse in

the left-field corner with two outs in the sixth, his second. Jason

Bartlett was aboard on a one-out single.

San Diego pulled to 4-3 with two outs in the eighth when Ryan

Ludwick’s single brought in Venable, who reached on an infield

single and stole second. Ludwick went to second on a wild pitch and

Cantu walked, but Cameron Maybin hit into a force play to end the

threat.

Jones, the right fielder, made a big play when he threw out San

Diego’s Brad Hawpe trying to score on pinch-hitter Eric Patterson’s

fly to right to end the fifth.

”That was a big play, no doubt about it,” Hurdle said. ”If we

don’t get that out right there, we could still be playing baseball

and the game would have looked a lot different from that inning

on.”

The Pirates loaded the bases with three straight walks with one

out in the ninth before Luke Gregerson struck out pinch-hitter

Steve Pearce and got Andrew McCutchen to hit into a force.

Harang went five innings, allowing four runs and five hits with

four strikeouts and two walks.

Harang said he thought the home run pitch to Jones was a good

pitch, but that he missed on the pitch to Snyder.

”I felt I was making good pitches after the first inning,”

Harang said. ”I settled in, was executing. The sinker was working,

keeping them off balance. But the first inning, I felt like the one

bad pitch that I didn’t execute there, there’d probably be a

different outcome of the game.”

NOTES: Padres reliever Joe Thatcher had exploratory arthroscopic

surgery on his strained left shoulder. The lefty is expected to

begin a throwing program in six weeks. He began the season on the

disabled list. Manager Bud Black said Thatcher could pitch this

season if his rehab goes well. … Triple-A shortstop Everth

Cabrera, who was with the Padres the last two seasons, broke the

hamate bone in his right hand and will be out for six weeks.