PITTSBURGH– Eric Hosmer doubled twice, Tyson Ross threw six quality innings, and Brad Hand recorded a four-out save to give the Padres a 3-2 victory over the Pirates on Friday night at PNC Park.
San Diego improved to 18-28 while Pittsburgh fell to 26-18 on the season.
Tyson Ross battles
The Padres’ right-hander labored early and often on Friday evening against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. He started his night by walking the first two batters he faced. Those were two of the four hitters he gave free passes to on the night.
His slider did not have the normal “bite” that it usually does. And yet, the 31-year-old kept his team in the ballgame and earned his first win in more than a month.
Ross ended up throwing six innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs. He managed only one 1-2-3 inning and was only able to induce eight swinging strikes. The low number of strikeouts and whiffs is perhaps to be expected, as the Pirates are among league leaders in avoiding the K.
“It was not his sharpest outing this year, but for him, every single time he’s been out there he’s managed to give us an opportunity to win a baseball game,” manager Andy Green said. “Today was just like the rest of those days.”
Bottom line: Ross battled his way to a quality start when the Padres needed one. His veteran experience on the mound definitely paid dividends tonight, and that is certainly something that the younger pitchers on this team can take notice of.
Hand gets 4-out save
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Padres skipper Andy Green brought on his All-Star closer on to try and get a four-out save.
Brad Hand delivered, recording his 13th save on the season.
He began his night by retiring right fielder Gregory Polanco on a ground-out to short to strand the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth.
In the ninth, Hand allowed a leadoff double to Corey Dickerson before striking out Josh Bell and Sean Rodriguez. With two outs and a runner on second, the southpaw induced a game-ending groundout off the bat of Edwin Diaz to secure the victory.
Hand threw 20 pitches on the night, 19 of them being sliders.
Brad Hand threw 20 pitches, 19 were sliders. He gets the 4-out save. What an effort.
Hitting in the #3 spot, Eric Hosmer doubled twice on Friday night, his 15th and 16th doubles on the season. Both were vital in the victory.
The first of the two came in the top of the fourth. With Travis Jankowski at second, Hosmer doubled down the right field line to drive in the Padres’ center fielder. He then came around to score on a Raffy Lopez groundout later in the inning to tie the game at two.
In the sixth, Hosmer hit a two-out, check-swing hustle double down the left field line. The next hitter, Franchy Cordero, lined an RBI knock to drive in Hosmer and give the Padres a 3-2 lead.
“It (Hosmer’s hustle double) was a very intelligent baseball play, and it turned out to be the difference in the game,” Green said.
With the two doubles, the first baseman overtook the Braves’ Ozzie Albies for the NL lead in two-baggers.
Meadows makes MLB debut
OF Austin Meadows, the No. 42 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, made his major league debut for the Pirates tonight. He got the start in center field and was very impressive, hitting the ball hard all four times in which he came to the plate.
Meadows settled for a 2-for-4 night, singling twice. He also stole a base.
Jankowski continues to impress out of the leadoff spot
Travis Jankowski went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot tonight, scoring a run and stealing a base. He is now getting on base at a .460 clip in 64 plate appearances this season.