Padres Fall Short of Sweep

Rookies play well but the Pirates ride a big game from a veteran to a win

In their attempt to sweep the Pirates at Petco Park, the Padres played 12 players on Sunday. Seven of them were rookies. And that’s really not all that out of the ordinary.

It didn’t work this time because a former National League MVP went bonkers in a 7-1 Pittsburgh win. Andrew McCutchen hit three home runs, walked twice, scored four times and for good measure made a highlight reel-worthy diving catch in centerfield to almost single-handedly dismantle the Padres.

He hit the first homer in the first inning off of starting pitcher Clayton Richard, who gave up four runs in his 6.0 innings of work to take the loss. Despite his 5-12 record, Richard is a guy who might be moved at the trade deadline because he eats innings and more often than not gives his team a chance to win a game.

McCutchen hit his other dingers off reliever Jose Torres, who coughed up one in the 8th and another in the 9th to the Pirates All-Star. The few highlights for the Padres came mostly from rookies.

Outfielder Manuel Margot had two more hits to continue his ridiculous week at the plate. Over the last week Margot hit .500 with three home runs, six RBI and six runs scored. The only Padres run of the game came on a solo home run by infielder Dusty Coleman, who hammered his second career big league bomb to centerfield off Pirates starter Gerrit Cole.

In the 7th inning another kid made his Major League debut. Left-handed pitcher Kyle McGrath threw a perfect 7th inning, striking out a pair of Pirates. McGrath, who turns 25 years old on Monday, was a 36th round draft pick by the Padres out of Louisville.

Before the game the Padres activated infielder Yangervis Solarte and catcher Austin Hedges from the disabled list. Outfielder Jabari Blash and pitcher Kevin Quackenbush were optioned to Triple-A El Paso.

The Padres take Monday off before starting a quick two-game set at Petco Park on Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins. Jholys Chacin gets the start (as long as he’s not traded at Monday’s deadline) against Jose Berrios.

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