Walks, shaky fielding doom Pirates in 3-2 setback against Padres
SAN DIEGO — It's tough enough to lose a game when your pitching staff gives up only one hit. But when that lone hit is a bunt single that barely rolled 80 feet onto the infield grass?
Everth Cabrera's infield single off left-hander Francisco Liriano in the first inning was the only hit the San Diego Padres got Wednesday. But they took advantage of six walks by Liriano and shaky fielding by the Pirates to steal a 3-2 victory.
The Pirates outhit the Padres, 7-1.
“I don't think I've ever been a part of that kind of situation before,” manager Clint Hurdle said.
It was the first time the Pirates lost when they pitched a one-hitter since July 25, 1992. The only hit the Atlanta Braves got that day was David Justice's solo homer, but it was enough for a 1-0 win.
Liriano's line was a mix of good, bad and ugly. He needed 109 pitches to get through five innings. Liriano (1-6) struck out seven, but he also walked six and hit a batter.
“It was a weird one,” Liriano said. “Too many walks and getting behind in the count too much. I didn't have any rhythm or anything. I couldn't throw strikes with any pitch.”
The Padres took a 2-0 lead in the first.
Chris Denorfia drew a leadoff walk, then stole second. Cabrera bunted toward the right side. Liriano, first baseman Ike Davis and second baseman Josh Harrison converged on the ball and left first base uncovered. Cabrera reached on the single, and Denorfia went to third.
“We got a little confused,” Liriano said. “I wasn't expecting a bunt in a 2-1 count.”
Carlos Quentin hit a popup to shallow right field. Harrison caught the ball a few feet in front of right fielder Travis Snider, but his throw to the plate was weak and off line.
“I knew Travis was playing deep, and I heard him saying, ‘Four! Four! Four!' ” Harrison said. “It was one of those things where, at the last minute, he probably could've caught it, but he had to take a long run.”
Denorfia tagged and scored easily. Harrison wasn't surprised Denorfia broke for the plate.
“It's not like I was camped under the ball,” Harrison said. “I had to throw it off my back foot.”
Harrison started at second base for the first time this season and the 40th time in his career. Neil Walker started the first 58 games.
With one out and one on, Liriano hit Chase Headley with a pitch.
Tommy Medica hit a comebacker to Liriano, who threw to second base to force Headley. Medica was safe at first, and Cabrera scored on Harrison's throwing error.
Andrew McCutchen homered to left field leading off the fourth. Wednesday was the five-year anniversary of McCutchen's call-up to the majors.
The Pirates scored their other run in the fifth. Harrison ripped an RBI double to center.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
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