The San Diego Padres struck for four ninth-inning singles and two runs off Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon on Wednesday night, and the Padres pulled out a 3-2 victory over the Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Melancon, trying for his 17th save of the season, instead offered up his third blown save, taking the loss and falling to 2-2 (1.32 ERA).
San Diego pinch-hitter Logan Forsythe, now 11-for-27 in his career against the Pirates, and catcher Rene Rivera drove home the ninth-inning runs.
The Pirates (87-65) had taken a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning when Andrew McCutchen slammed his 20th home run after Neil Walker had reached first base on a third-strike wild pitch. Melancon was trying to save the win for starter Charlie Morton, who threw a two-hitter through the game’s first eight innings. Morton allowed just a fourth-inning run, tied a career high with nine strikeouts and walked three hitters.
Justin Morneau recorded two of the three hits the Pirates mustered, while six different batters scattered base hits for San Diego. Reliever Dale Thayer (3-5; 3.38 ERA) picked up the win for the Padres, and Huston Street earned his 31st save.
The Padres have posted a 31-10 record in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001, and have won 19 of their last 22 games in the Steel City. They will go for a four-game sweep over the Bucs in a 12:35 PM series finale on Thursday, sending veteran Ian Kennedy (3-1; 3.86 ERA) against Pirates rookie Gerrit Cole (8-7; 3.33 ERA). It will be the only four-game series the Pirates will have lost in 2013. In eight previous such affairs, the Bucs have won six series and split two.