By the time the San Diego Padres leave Pittsburgh, they might be taking some Pirates with them.
With talks for a possible deal between the teams heating up, the Padres meet the Pirates in the middle game of their series at PNC Park.
With the July 31 deadline for trading without waivers fast approaching, Padres general manager Kevin Towers made the trip to Pittsburgh—heightening speculation for a possible deal.
The Pirates are believed to want left-hander Oliver Perez in any Giles-Kendall trade.
Perez was working on a two-hit shutout in San Diego’s 8-7 win over Pittsburgh in Tuesday’s opener, but was lifted after issuing his seventh walk to start the sixth.
“It wasn’t on my mind,” Perez said of the trade talks. “I’ll try to win no matter which team I play for.”
The Pirates led 6-4 going into the ninth before the Padres mounted their comeback against right-hander Mike Lincoln as Pittsburgh lost for the third time in four games.
Lincoln, who has at least temporarily succeeded the traded Mike Williams as the Pirates’ closer, lost a multirun lead for the second time in three days. He gave up three runs in the ninth Sunday as St. Louis rallied to win 4-3.
“I absolutely hate losing. It stinks,” said Lincoln, who has converted two of his four save opportunities. “When you come in after the rest of guys have worked so hard to get the lead and you can’t hold it, it’s tough to take.”
STANDINGS: Padres - 5th place, 26 1/2 GB, NL West. Pirates - 4th place, 8 GB, NL Central.
PADRES PROBABLE STARTER: Brian Lawrence (5-12, 4.60 ERA). Lawrence is 0-3 with a 5.47 ERA over his last three starts and has just one victory over his last eight outings, a 7-1 win over Los Angeles on July 1. The 27-year-old right-hander was reached for five runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings of Wednesday’s 8-4 loss to St. Louis. Lawrence is 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three career appearances, including two starts, against Pittsburgh.
PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Kip Wells (4-4, 3.65 ERA). Wells is 2-0 with a 2.73 ERA over his last three starts. The 26-year-old right-hander didn’t figure into the decision of Pittsburgh’s 10-5 victory over St. Louis on Friday after allowing four runs and six hits over six innings, walking five and striking out four. Wells is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against San Diego.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Padres - Loretta, .313 avg. and 46 runs; Ryan Klesko, 20 HRs and 59 RBIs; Gary Matthews Jr. and Ramon Vazquez, 8 SBs. Pirates - Kendall, .304 avg. and 60 runs; Reggie Sanders, 19 HRs and 7 SBs; Giles, 57 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Pirates, 3-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Padres - OF Mark Kotsay is hitting .379 (11-for-29) over his last eight games. … RHP Rod Beck converted his 13th straight save Tuesday and is 1-1 with a 2.23 ERA since joining the Padres on June 2. … OF Phil Nevin, who missed most of the season with a shoulder problem, homered for the second time in three games Tuesday. Pirates - OF Giles needs one hit for 1,000 in his career and is one homer away from 200. … Pittsburgh has turned 16 double plays in its last 12 games. … The Pirates are 14-9 in their last 23 home games after opening their home slate 8-21.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Padres - 19-34 on the road; Pirates - 22-30 at home.
INJURIES: Padres - INF Keith Lockhart (back), 15-day DL; OF Jason Bay (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Trevor Hoffman (shoulder), 60-day DL. Pirates - RHP Kris Benson (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Brandon Lyon (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL; IF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; IF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL.