Home Pittsburgh Sports College Football The Skid Continues

The Skid Continues

Jeff Karstens was shelled for nine runs in 3 1/3 innings, and only one Bucco pitcher escaped unscathed as the Padres routed the Pirates 15-5 at PNC Park on Friday night.

Mired in a season-high seven-game losing streak, not even Pittsburgh’s most consistent starter, Jeff Karstens (8-5), could stop the Pirates downfall as they dropped their eighth straight by falling to the San Diego Padres, 15-5, Friday night.

“I put it on my shoulders. I expect to be better than that,” Karstens stated.

The Bucs came out swinging scoring four runs in their first three innings, including a Ryan Doumit solo-homerun in the third that gave Pittsburgh an early 4-3 lead.

Karstens ran into to trouble in the fourth as he gave up six of his nine earned runs on the night. San Diego third baseman Chase Headley hit a grand slam to chase Karstens in just 3 1/3 innings. Headley had a career-high five RBIs as he also had a groundout in the third that scored Cameron Maybin to tie the game at three.

“The lack of execution is giving us bad location,” manager Clint Hurdle explained of the pitching mishaps.

The Padres hit four longballs, taking advantage of a Pirates pitching staff that has now given up four homeruns in their previous four games.

“This is the big leagues. When you pitch the ball down the middle they know what they’re supposed to do with it,” Karstens added.

Pittsburgh third baseman Pedro Alvarez had a horrendous night as he went 0-5 and groundiinto three inning-ending double plays. He also committed an error in the third when he couldn’t handle a dribbling Jesus Guzman grounder.  

“Today he got out in front of some things. The top hand became dominant again. Something we have seen a little bit earlier,” Hurdle analyzed.

San Diego’s Aaron Harang earned the victory for his club, going five innings while giving up 13 hits but only four earned runs.

Second baseman Neil Walker collected his 65th RBI tonight as his bloop single scored Andrew McCutchen in the first.

“The final score disappoints me. We need to step up. We need to find a way to fight through the hard part of the season. This is the hard part of the season,” Hurdle said.

Sinking Ship?
The Pirates are now eight games behind NL Central leader Milwaukee and three games under .500 at 54-57.

On Deck
Pittsburgh will look to turn the tides Saturday at 7:05 p.m. as they send Paul Maholm (6-11, 3.27 ERA) to the bump against San Diego’s Cory Luebke (3-6, 3.21 ERA).

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