TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Melancon blows save as Pirates drop 3rd straight to visiting Padres

Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates closer Mark Melancon pauses on the mound after blowing a save in the ninth inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates closer Mark Melancon pauses on the mound after blowing a save in the ninth inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is hit by a pitch during the first inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen is hit by a pitch during the first inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Padres' Andrew Cashner celebrates after scoring past Pirates catcher John Buck during the ninth inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Padres' Andrew Cashner celebrates after scoring past Pirates catcher John Buck during the ninth inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hangs on to Padres shortstop Ronny Cedeno after being caught stealing during the first inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hangs on to Padres shortstop Ronny Cedeno after being caught stealing during the first inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton delivers to the plate during the first inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hangs on to Padres shortstop Ronny Cedeno after being caught stealing during the first inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hangs on to Padres shortstop Ronny Cedeno after being caught stealing during the first inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Fans in right field battle for a home run ball hit by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Fans in right field battle for a home run ball hit by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen watches his two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen watches his two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen hits a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen tips his helmet to the crowd after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen tips his helmet to the crowd after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - The Padres' Andrew Cashner scores the tying run past Pirates catcher John Buck during the ninth inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>The Padres' Andrew Cashner scores the tying run past Pirates catcher John Buck during the ninth inning Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage talks to closer Mark Melancon after he gave up two runs in the ninth inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage talks to closer Mark Melancon after he gave up two runs in the ninth inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen tips his helmet to the crowd after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen tips his helmet to the crowd after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen leaves the field after the final out against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen leaves the field after the final out against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review - Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton throws to first during the fourth inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Christopher Horner  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton throws to first during the fourth inning against the Padres Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, at PNC Park.

Pirates/MLB Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Pirates podcasts

  • Loading...
Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
 

Andrew McCutchen produced heroics worthy of an MVP winner. Charlie Morton was dominant for eight innings.

That should have been enough Wednesday night for the Pirates to knock out the Padres.

It was not.

The Padres scored two runs in the ninth inning to pull out a 3-2 victory, beating the Pirates for the third game in a row.

With 10 games left in the season, the Pirates still have a grip on a playoff berth. But they trail the Cardinals in the NL Central, and the Nationals are putting on a last-gasp charge for the second wild-card spot.

“You hate for something like this to happen at this point in the season,” McCutchen said. “It does hurt a little bit. But you've got to treat it like any other game. Show up tomorrow and be ready to go.”

Closer Mark Melancon was unable to hold a 2-1 lead in the ninth. He served up four singles to right field, the last three coming with two outs.

“We put some right-handed batters up there, knowing (Melancon) is so tough on lefties,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “We tried to get the ball out over the plate a little bit and not do too much. Try to get the ball on the right side of the diamond. All those guys went with the pitch.”

Pinch hitter Logan Forsythe tied the game with a line-drive single. Rene Rivera flared a hit, sending Chris Denorfia home with the winning run.

“They found holes,” Melancon said. “I could've made my pitches better, and the results probably would've been different. But sometimes, you just tip your hat. That's the way it is.”

Padres starter Tyson Ross suffocated the Pirates over the first six innings. In that span, the right-hander yielded one hit and did not allow a runner to reach second base.

With one out in the seventh, Neil Walker reached first on a strikeout-wild pitch. As Ross fired a 3-0 pitch, McCutchen had a look on his face that said, “Enough.”

“That's how I felt,” McCutchen said. “Enough of that whole situation. The past few games haven't been what we wanted them to be. I told myself if I got a good pitch to hit, I was going to drive it. Put a foot down.”

McCutchen launched a 93 mph fastball into the right-center field seats to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead.

With chants of “MVP!” echoing around the North Shore, the crowd of 27,640 demanded a curtain call. Over his past 22 games at PNC Park, McCutchen is batting .397 with eight doubles, two homers and 10 RBI.

The blast made McCutchen just the second player in franchise history to record three straight seasons with at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases. The first to do it was Barry Bonds from 1990 to '92.

The Pirates wasted a brilliant effort by Morton. The right-hander worked eight innings, gave up one run on two hits and walked three. He matched his career high with nine strikeouts.

With one out in the fourth, Jedd Gyorko walked and reached third on Chase Headley's infield single.

Rookie Tommy Medica hit a sharp bouncer to third. Pedro Alvarez chose not to throw to the plate, but instead threw to second base to force Headley. Walker had to rush his throw to first, and it short-hopped Morneau. Medica was safe and Gyorko scored to make it 1-0.

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at rbiertempfel@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
  2. Cole outduels Mets rookie, carries Pirates to victory
  3. Pirates’ McCutchen laughs off pay stub leak
  4. PennDOT puts final touches on Route 28 construction
  5. North Fayette man dies in 2-vehicle accident in Washington County
  6. Hempfield pair caught in vehicle scam
  7. Pirates notebook: Stewart, Cole develop rapport
  8. Bacteria levels in water at VA Butler Healthcare too high
  9. Murray, Alpha notify West Virginia coal miners of layoffs
  10. Trooper fatally shoots burglary suspect inside Somerset Twp. grocery store
  11. Watchful attorney general denies UPMC a chance to assist Jameson, a community in need