Padres' Cashner fires one-hitter against Pirates

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- The Padres still hold the dubious honor of being the only major league franchise without a no-hitter, though Andrew Cashner flirted with one Monday night in a ballpark where San Diego has had great success.
Cashner's no-hit bid -- and perfect game -- ended in the seventh inning, but the Padres blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0 at PNC Park. The right-hander settled for a one-hitter while facing the minimum 27 batters.
It was the first shutout of Cashner's four-year career and his first complete game in 31 lifetime starts.
"Once you get into the fifth inning, I always think about the possibility of a no-hitter," Padres manager Bud Black said. "The way Cash was throwing, where his pitch count was, the look in his eye -- the whole everything was set up for a good game."
Cashner (10-8) retired the first 18 batters before Jose Tabata grounded a single into right field to lead off the seventh. Tabata was erased when Andrew McCutchen grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Tabata hit a sinker, and Cashner refused to second-guess himself, especially after he used the same pitch a few moment later to get McCutchen.
"I didn't want to get beat with my slider there," Cashner said. "I still think it's a great pitch. I still think it's the right pitch. That's the way it goes."
Cashner was able to keep his composure after losing the perfect game.
"I've had some no-hitters broken up before, and I think in previous times I've learned to stay with my game plan and keep making pitches," Cashner said. "That was a big spot in the game with McCutchen up. I kept telling myself to keep throwing my sinker where I wanted to, even though I gave up the hit on it."
Cashner struck out seven and did not walk a batter. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his past 11 starts.
Kyle Blanks, Ronny Cedeno and Rene Rivera each had two hits for San Diego.
The Padres won for the ninth time in their last 13 games. They also have gone 17-3 in their last 20 games at PNC Park.
The Pirates lost for just the second time in eight games after entering the day tied for the first with the St. Louis Cardinals, who played at the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
A.J. Burnett (8-11) took a shutout into the seventh inning but wound up with the loss. He allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings. He issued three walks and struck out eight.
The Pirates had won each of Burnett's previous five home starts.
"A.J. pitched a heckuva ballgame himself," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
San Diego broke through for two runs against Burnett in the seventh. Cedeno and Rivera opened the inning with single and were driven home on Will Venable's sacrifice fly and Jedd Gyorko's single.
The Padres left runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings. Cashner made sure it didn't matter.
"He was throwing three quality pitches for strikes and, most importantly, he was keeping them all down in the strike zone," Pittsburgh second baseman Neil Walker said. "Sometimes, you have games like this where the other guy just pitches a great game."
NOTES: RHP Huston Street, San Diego's closer, missed Monday's game in order to attend to a personal matter. He is not expected to rejoin the team until Wednesday. ... Padres 1B Yonder Alonso (right hand) could take batting practice with his teammates sometime during the four-game series that concludes Thursday. ... The Pirates honored RHP Tyler Glasnow and OF Andrew Lambo as their minor league player and pitcher of the year. Glasnow was 9-3 with a 2.18 ERA in 24 starts for low Class A West Virginia. Lambo hit a combined .282 with 32 home runs and 99 RBIs in 120 games with Triple-A Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona. ... Pittsburgh LHP Jeff Locke (10-5, 3.14) starts Tuesday night against LHP Eric Stults (8-13, 4.03).

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