It looked like just another puzzling Padres game at PNC Park with an early 2-0 lead following McCutchen’s misread of a line drive that kept the first inning alive, but the Pirates rebounded with six unanswered runs to win 6-4.
Chad Kuhl settled down from a rocky first inning to finish six innings with five hits allowed, the two runs from the first inning and four strikeouts. If McCutchen makes the catch to end the first inning, Kuhl would have blanked the Padres and possibly gone another inning. Either way, it was a solid outing for Kuhl in his first start back in the rotation. Let’s hope he stays in it for the rest of the season.
With the game tied at two in the bottom of the 5th inning, Gregory Polanco blistered an 0-2 pitch for his team-leading 16th home run of the season. For all the talk of Polanco’s problems with runners in scoring position, it did not matter there as his 3-run bomb gave the Bucs a 5-2 lead.
Newly-appointed closer Tony Watson came in the 9th inning with a three-run lead and struggled a bit as he allowed a solo home run to Jabari Blash. After getting the next out, he hit Alexei Ramirez in the foot with a pitch, but got Christian Bethancourt to ground into a double play to end the game, which was fitting for this game where the Pirates turned four double plays. It was Watson’s third save of the season, but he also allowed his second run in his last three games.