Final

Series: Game 2 of 4

San Diego leads 2-0 (as of 9/17)

Game 1: Monday, September 16
San Diego2Final
Pittsburgh0
Game 2: Tuesday, September 17
San Diego5Final
Pittsburgh2
Game 3: Wednesday, September 18
San Diego3Final
Pittsburgh2
Game 4: Thursday, September 19
San Diego1Final
Pittsburgh10

Padres 5

(70-80, 29-47 away)

Pirates 2

(87-64, 48-28 home)

    Coverage:  ROOT

    7:05 PM ET, September 17, 2013

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    SD 003100100 5 14 0
    PIT 002000000 2 7 0

    W: E. Stults (9-13)

    L: J. Locke (10-6)

    S: L. Gregerson (4)

    Pirates fall to 2nd place in Central after 2nd straight loss to Padres

    Associated Press

    PITTSBURGH -- San Diego Padres rookie second baseman Jedd Gyorko invited friends and family to watch him play in Pittsburgh this week, hoping he could do enough to make the hour ride up from Morgantown, W.Va., worth the trouble.

    Done.

    Gyorko had a three-run homer among his three hits and the Padres dropped the Pirates 5-2 on Tuesday night.

    "It's nice to get that kind of support," Gyorko said. "But I think probably every one of those people have seen me hit a home run at one time or another before, so I don't know if it's a big deal to them or not."

    Maybe, but it's a big deal to the Padres, who won for the 10th time in 14 games and put a dent in Pittsburgh's pursuit of its first NL Central title. Ronny Cedeno added three hits for San Diego.

    Eric Stults (9-13) allowed two runs over five innings to pick up his first victory in more than two months. Stults struck out five and walked one to end a string of 10 straight winless starts. Luke Gregerson worked the ninth for his fourth save.

    "It's definitely good to get one," Stults said. "It's one of those things that maybe it'll be a little confidence boost, I've thrown some games where I've had some tough luck and others where I've put in a position to win and it just didn't happen."

    Andrew McCutchen went 2 for 3 and Marlon Byrd drove in both of Pittsburgh's runs but the Pirates continued to have problems with the Padres.

    Jeff Locke (10-6) struggled with his command, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings, striking out five and walking three as his second-half struggles reappeared.

    A night after Andrew Cashner fired the 19th one-hitter in Padres' history behind a series of 97 mph fastballs, Stults handcuffed the Pirates with slower stuff.

    San Diego improved to 30-10 in Pittsburgh since the ballpark opened in 2001 as Stults and his series of slow, slower and slowest offspeed pitches to keep the Pirates off balance.

    At one point, he retired Pedro Alvarez on a 66 mph changeup and dropped it down to 64 mph to get Josh Harrison to ground meekly to third.

    It was enough to prevent one of the National League's top-hitting teams against left-handers from cashing in as Pittsburgh tries to keep pace with St. Louis and Cincinnati in a crowded playoff race.

    "Everybody's aware of where we are, what's going on," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said "At the end of the day, we had a couple of opportunities we didn't maximize on."

    Locke briefly regained his All-Star form in his last start, when he handcuffed the Chicago Cubs for seven innings to pick up his first win in nearly two months.

    The good vibes disappeared in the third, when Gyorko took an 89 mph fastball over the middle of the plate and sent it into the bleachers in left field for his 19th homer of the season.

    The Pirates drew within one in the bottom of the inning thanks to a little help from San Diego right fielder Kyle Blanks, who stumbled trying to track down a sinking line drive by Byrd, allowing two runs to score.

    Byrd tried to tie the game one batter later when Gaby Sanchez's infield chopper was mishandled by Gyorko at second base. The ball trickled behind Gyorko but Cedeno -- who spent three mostly forgettable seasons in Pittsburgh from 2009-2011 -- picked it up and fired home to throw out Byrd as he attempted to score from second.

    Pittsburgh would get no closer. Cedeno singled leading off the fifth and came around to score and Pittsburgh's offense disappeared against a trio of Cincinnati relievers.

    The Pirates managed just two base runners over the final four innings, with Cedeno providing a highlight play from deep shortstop against Byrd in the eighth to provide an exclamation point as Pittsburgh stumbled again.

    "It feels good to come in and contribute," Cedeno said. "That is why they signed me, to help win some ballgames and I feel like I've been able to do that both with my glove and with my bat."

    Game notes


    Pittsburgh outfielder Starling Marte went 1 for 3 in his first start since suffering a contusion to his right index finger on Aug. 18 ... Pittsburgh C Russell Martin caught his major league-leading 29th base stealer in the ninth when he nailed Will Venable at second ... Padres LHP Cory Luebke will be examined by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tim Kremchek in Cincinnati later this week. Luebke has been shut down for the season as he attempts to come back from Tommy John surgery in May 2012 ... The series continues on Wednesday when Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.54 ERA) faces San Diego's Tyson Ross (3-8, 3.29 ERA).

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Game Information

    StadiumPNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
    Attendance22,520 (58.7% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time3:04
    Weather67 degrees, clear
    Wind5 mph
    UmpiresHome Plate - Mike Everitt, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman

    Research Notes

    Jeff Locke has generated a ground ball on 55 percent of balls put in play against him this year, the second-highest percentage in baseball behind his teammate A.J. Burnett. The Padres have hit a ground ball on 48 percent of balls put in play entering Monday, tied for the third-highest mark in baseball.

    ESPN Stats & Information