PITTSBURGH (AP)—Yoslan Herrera received a water-bottle shower from his teammates and one special souvenir—the baseball from his first major league win.
“It’s a gift I’m going to keep for the rest of my life,” Herrera said Thursday night through his translator, Pirates bullpen coach Luis Dorante.
Nate McLouth also homered and had three RBIs for the Pirates, who have won four straight. They stopped a six-game skid against the Padres, who have lost nine of 10 overall.
Herrera (1-1), making his third big league start since being called up from Double-A Altoona on July 12, allowed six singles and one walk while striking out four in his 96-pitch outing. The 27-year-old Cuban defector, who allowed 13 runs over six innings in his first two starts, lowered his ERA from 19.50 to 9.75.
“I’m very happy,” Herrera said. “There are no words to say. I’m very, very happy to have picked up my first win.”
Herrera had little difficulty against San Diego, which owns the worst record in the major leagues at 38-65.
The Padres’ best scoring chance against the right-hander came in the third inning, when they put runners on first and second with one out. But Edgar Gonzalez and Brian Giles grounded out to end the threat.
San Diego also put two runners on with two outs in the sixth, but Chase Headley flied out.
“He had command of his pitches,” Pittsburgh manager John Russell said. “It was a clean start for him. He had the first-start jitters, and his second start wasn’t even relevant. Tonight, he looked relaxed.”
Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit said Herrera had “great stuff.”
“We talked before the game about how he needed to use his sinker,” Doumit said. “He used it, it moved a lot, and it kept the other team in check. He’s always had stuff that moved. The key to getting major league hitters out is getting ahead in the count. That’s what he did tonight.”
Bay and Nady opened the fourth with home runs against Clay Hensley (1-1) to give Pittsburgh a 4-0 lead.
Bay’s homer was his 139th with the Pirates, moving him past Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski for eighth place on the franchise list. Bay, who also had a first-inning sacrifice fly, has 15 RBIs in his past 10 games.
Nady, who had two hits and scored twice, extended his hitting streak to 13 games.
“It was a good way to get our offense started,” Bay said about the back-to-back home runs. “It definitely picks the spirits up.”
San Diego manager Bud Black said Bay and Nady were able to take advantage of two mistakes.
“Today, we saw some pitches up (from Hensley),” Black said. “The one to Bay was a fastball that sort of sank, middle, middle-in. That’s where you want to stay away from with Bay. He tried to throw a slider down and away to Nady, and that ball was up, too.”
Hensley, making his first start of the season, allowed six runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked two.
“I felt pretty good,” Hensley said. “A couple of pitches got away from me, and it hurt. I could have executed some pitches better.”
McLouth, who had a sacrifice fly in the sixth, hit a two-run shot in the eighth against reliever Bryan Corey.
Adrian Gonzalez had two hits and an RBI for the Padres.
Black said RHP Chris Young, on the disabled list since May 22 with a broken nose, is scheduled to throw a side session Saturday and could start Tuesday against Arizona. … The Padres, who faced the Pirates for the first time this season, are 7-0 in series at PNC Park. San Diego is 14-8 in Pittsburgh since the ballpark opened in 2001. … Pittsburgh’s Freddy Sanchez is hitting .424 (14-for-33) in eight games since the All-Star break. … The back-to-back home runs were the first for the Pirates this season. … The Pirates are 13-2 when Bay has two or more RBIs.