Things are going from bad to worse in a hurry for the Pirates.
Mat Latos pitched a 7-inning gem, light-hitting third baseman Logan Forsythe had 3 RBI’s, and the San Diego Padres completed a 3-game sweep of the Pirates, 7-3, sending the reeling Bucs to their season-high tenth straight loss Sunday afternoon.
The losing streak is the longest for the Pirates since losing 12 straight June 6-18,, 2010.
The Pirates again struggled to manufacture any sort of offense against the Padres. The Bucs managed to score only 9 runs total in the three-game set against the team with the third-best team ERA in the National League.
Latos (6-11, 3.87) was masterful for the Padres, allowing only 2 hits until the 8th inning, when the Pirates made their only serious rally of the game.
Ryan Doumit and Pedro Alvarez led off with back-to-back singles before shortstop Brandon Wood launched a 3-run home run into left field on the first pitch he saw to cut the lead to 4.
However, that was all the Bucs would be able to muster.
Andrew McCutchen, who had the day off, came in to pinch-hit with a runner on first, but grounded into a fielder’s choice in front of 35,601 fans cheering on their hometown-favorite. Neil Walker would follow with a groundout to end the inning and any chance of coming back.
Latos finished the day pitching 7-plus innings, allowing only 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 7.
His counterpart, Kevin Correia (12-10, 4.78), was charged with the loss. The righty didn’t look sharp, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits in 5 2/3 innings. Correia gave up 4 free passes during the game, including back-to-back walks in the 3-run sixth inning to Orlando Hudson and Kyle Blanks that loaded the bases.
Forsythe would follow with a single to center, driving in Hudson and Jesus Guzman to put the Padres up 4-0.
The story of the game remained consistent with the previous 9 of this losing streak, as the Bucs’ solid starting pitching has disappeared while the offense continues to look lost at the plate. The Pirates have posted an 8.2 team ERA during the losing streak, while the offense has only averaged 3.7 runs per game.
After Will Venable led off the 7th with a single and a stolen base, Jason Bartlett would single to drive him home, extending the lead to 5-0. Venable’s double off reliever Brad Lincoln in the 8th plated Blanks and Forsythe, giving the Padres a 7-0 lead.
Forsythe had an RBI groundout to put the Padres on the board in the 2nd inning, 1-0.
Correia’s loss was his 4th in his last 6 games, and the All-Star right-hander has seen his ERA steadily climb every start since the beginning of June.
The Pirates drew 112,618 fans to PNC Park for this 3-game series, the third-highest total this season and fourth-highest total overall for a 3-game series in PNC Park history.
Outfielder Jose Tabata began a rehab assignment last night for Triple-A Indianapolis and went 1-1 with a pair of walks and a run scored. Tabata, who has been on the D.L. since 6/27 with a strained left quad, expects to make several more rehab appearances before rejoining the big league club.
The Pirates will look to snap their 10-game losing streak when they head to San Francisco to face the defending champion Giants. Right-hander Charlie Morton (8-6, 3.80) will take the mound for the Bucs against a former Pirate, Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong (9-1, 2.19). First pitch is scheduled for 10:15 PM.