Padres hold off Bucs late
PITTSBURGH — The small-market San Diego Padres made a big investment in February when they signed Eric Hosmer to a $144-million, eight-year contract as a free agent, the largest in franchise history.
The veteran first baseman paid dividends Friday night as he hit two doubles and scored the go-ahead run, and Tyson Ross won for the first time in more than a month as the Padres cooled off the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2.
“It’s been really fun,” Hosmer said. “I feel like I bring a lot of things to the young hitters that you don’t really know about until you play at this level — how to prepare, how to attack pitchers — and it’s a good reminder for myself, too. I think it’s making me a better hitter.”
Hosmer doubled with two outs in the sixth inning off Ivan Nova and Franchy Cordero followed by lining a single to left field. That broke a 2-2 tie and sent Pittsburgh to its second loss in 10 games.
Ross (3-3) ended a five-start winless streak by giving up two runs and five hits in six innings while striking out two and walking four. It was his first victory since April 13 against San Francisco.
“I didn’t have my best stuff and struggled to execute, but I was able to hold it to two runs,” Ross said. “Then the defense did its thing, the offense scored some runs, and the bullpen did a good job like it always does.”
Austin Meadows, filling in for Starling Marte in center field, made his major league debut for the Pirates and had two hits and a stolen base. A first-round draft pick in 2013, Meadows was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis earlier in the day when Marte was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique.
Meadows also hit two long flyouts to center field that might have been home runs if the wind wasn’t blowing in off the Allegheny River.
“I’ve been dreaming of this day, visualizing it and stuff like that,” Meadows said. “So, I don’t think I had any nerves. I think for me it was anticipation and being ready to play. Going out there and being myself.”
Brad Hand got the final four outs for his 13th save in 15 opportunities. He induced Gregory Polanco to ground out to end the eighth inning after entering with the bases loaded, then worked around Corey Dickerson’s leadoff double in the ninth.
“You can try to make something of the situation or just try to get outs,” Hand said.
Travis Jankowski also had two hits for San Diego, which is 8-8 in May after finishing April with a 10-20 record.
Dickerson had two hits for the Pirates, who stranded 13 runners.
Nova (2-4) allowed three runs — two earned — and six hits in six innings. He is 0-4 in his last six starts.
Hosmer doubled and scored on Raffy Lopez’s grounder in the fourth inning to pull the Padres into a 2-2 tie. The Pirates’ Josh Bell doubled in a run in the first and Dickerson had an RBI single in the third.
“We missed the elusive big hit,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “Give them some credit because they made the pitches and got the outs when they needed them.”
Pirates: The team did not give a timetable for Marte’s return, but Hurdle said it is not expected to be a prolonged absence. . C Francisco Cervelli (jammed finger) sat out after being injured during Thursday night’s win over San Diego but should return Saturday. . RHP Joe Musgrove (strained right shoulder) made what was expected to be his last rehab start for Indianapolis and was tagged for six runs and 10 hits in five innings. . 2B Josh Harrison (broken left hand) will be evaluated by the team’s medical staff Saturday after going 2 for 13 in three games with Double-A Altoona on a rehab assignment.
LYLES MOVED UP
Padres right-hander Jordan Lyles (1-1, 2.53 ERA) will move up a day in the rotation and start Sunday in the finale of the four-game series. A rotation spot opened when rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi (strained right hip) was placed on the DL earlier in the week.
Lyles will be pitching on regular rest after taking a perfect game into the eighth inning in his previous start against Colorado on Tuesday.
The Padres released third baseman Chase Headley, who hit just .105 in 27 games, six days after designating him for assignment. The 34-year-old cleared waivers, which was not surprising considering any team claiming him would be responsible for paying the remainder of his $13 million salary.
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (2-5, 5.20) ended a four-game losing streak Sunday when he held St. Louis to two runs in eight innings.
Pirates: RHP Nick Kingham (2-0, 2.92) is expected to be recalled from Indianapolis to make the start.
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