Hairston’s home run helps Padres beat Pirates 3-1
The reigning Cy Young Award winner struck out 10 in seven strong innings and Scott Hairston hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth to help the Padres beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 on Sunday for their third consecutive win.
The Padres have won eight straight series and are 17-8 in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001.
Peavy (8-6) allowed one run and four hits with three walks. It was the right-hander’s second double-digit strikeout game of the season and 26th in his career. In the process, he improved to 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts at PNC Park. In 20 innings, he’s walked four and struck out 28.
“He was pretty good out there today,” Pittsburgh manager John Russell said.
The right-handed Peavy improved to 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA in five starts this month.
“It was a good day,” he said. “I had good command and was able to get ahead. Those guys over there have been scoring runs. I knew I had to show up today.”
San Diego manager Bud Black said he knew early that his starter was going to have a good outing.
“Jake had tremendous command of the fastball away to both sides,” Black said. “Jake threw the fastball with conviction. Later in the game, he threw a couple of great sliders to get out of jams. You could see it coming, a low-scoring game where the outcome might be determined by one swing.”
The one swing came one batter after Peavy was lifted for a pinch-hitter. After Jody Gerut popped out, Hairston hit a 2-0 pitch from reliever John Grabow (5-3) into the left-field bleachers for his 17th home run of the season and the third in his last six games.
Hairston, who finished 1-for-3, is hitting .364 with eight home runs and 11 RBI in 17 games in July.
“Scott Hairson has been swinging a hot bat,” Black said. “He’s got that in his game.”
Josh Bard added a solo home run off Grabow in the ninth inning and had two hits for San Diego, which took three out of four games from the Pirates despite entering the series with the worst record in the major leagues.
“Any time you win, it’s fun,” Peavy said. “We haven’t put many three-game winning streaks together.”
Pittsburgh’s Paul Maholm went seven innings, allowing one run and four hits. The left-hander tied a season-high with nine strikeouts and walked three. Maholm has just one loss in 11 home starts this season.
“When you go against a guy like Peavy, you have to keep your team in the game,” Maholm said. “Overall, I thought my start was pretty good.”
At least one Padres hitter was happy to see Maholm leave the game.
“Maholm did a great job and kept a lot of us off-balance,” Hairston said. “He has about four pitches he uses effectively. He really came out and did a good job.”
Both teams were held hitless through the first three innings.
The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the fourth when Bard singled in Adrian Gonzalez, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.
Pittsburgh lost two players to back spasms. Second baseman Freddy Sanchez left after running the bases in the bottom of the first inning. LaRoche was lifted before the top of the eighth. Russell said both players were day-to-day.
Pittsburgh and San Diego were well represented during Sunday’s Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown, N.Y. Rich Gossage pitched for the Pirates in 1977 and the Padres from 1984-87. Dick Williams managed San Diego from 1982-85, winning the National League pennant in 1984. Billy Southworth was an outfielder for the Pirates from 1918-20, and longtime Pittsburgh owner Barney Dreyfuss (1900-32) was also among the inductees. … Trevor Hoffman pitched a scoreless ninth for his 21th save in 24 chances. Hoffman saved all three of San Diego’s wins in the series. … San Diego’s last series loss in Pittsburgh came on July 28-30, 2000, when the Padres lost two out of three games at Three Rivers Stadium. … San Diego finished 4-7 on an 11-game road trip, its longest of the season. … Peavy was thrown out trying to steal second base to end the fifth inning. It was the second steal attempt of his career. … Pirates third baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who entered the game 4-for-4 lifetime against Peavy with a home run, finished 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and a walk against the starter. The two briefly exchanged words during Mientkiewicz’s at-bat in the sixth inning.