SAN DIEGO (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Pirates (14-15) scored four runs in the first inning and held on for a 4-3 win over the San Diego Padres (11-18) Monday night.
James McDonald (2-2, 6.75 ERA) was effective on the hill and only allowed two runs on five hits over six innings. He also struck out five and walked only one.
Garrett Jones got the Pirates on the board first with a two-run homer off of Aaron Harang (4-2, 4.37 ERA).
Neil Walker followed with a single before Lyle Overbay’s liner to center field was caught for the second out of the inning.
Chris Snyder stepped into the box and belted another Harang offering over the wall to give the Pirates a quick 4-0 lead.
The score would remain the same until the bottom of the sixth.
With two outs and a runner on first, Jorge Cantu hit his second home run of the year to cut the lead in half.
Jose Veras came in to pitch the seventh inning and only needed 14 pitches to retire the Padres in order.
For the eighth inning, the Pirates turned to Chris Resop.
Ryan Ludwick’s two-out single to left field scored Will Venable from second base to cut the lead to 4-3.
Then, it was up to Joel Hanrahan to close out the game and he made it a little interesting.
After retiring the first two batters he faced, two consecutive singles left the potential tying run 90 feet from home plate.
Venable swung at the first pitch he saw and his ground ball to second base resulted in a force out to end the game.
The save was the ninth of the season for Hanrahan.
With the win, the Pirates moved into third place in the National League Central Division.
The teams will meet again for the second game of their three-game series at 10:05 p.m.
Jeff Karstens (2-1, 3.57 ERA) is expected to take on Mat Latos (0-4, 4.98 ERA).