'West Virginia' Gyorko boosts Padres past Pirates

John Perrotto, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

PITTSBURGH -- Jedd Gyorko made the busloads of fans who made the 90-minute trip from Morgantown, W.Va., on Tuesday night very happy.
The rookie second baseman had a three-run homer among his three hits to help the San Diego Padres to a 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
The Padres have beaten the Pirates in the first two games of the fourth-game series and are 30-10 all time at PNC Park, which opened in 2001. San Diego has won 18 of its last 21 games in Pittsburgh.
The Pirates entered the day tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for first place in the National League Central and 2 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Cincinnati Reds. The Cardinals played at Colorado and the Reds visited Houston.
Gyorko's home run opened the scoring and thrilled supporters from his hometown who watched him star at University High School and West Virginia University.
"The West Virginia Gyorkos, they're coming in buses and Jedd's not disappointing them," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "I'm happy for Jedd. I know he was really looking forward to this trip and it took us five months to get here. To me, it's cool to see when the gates open a stream of Padres' paraphernalia with the uniforms, the t-shirts, the hats all coming down the aisles at PNC.
"It's like I've always said, the West Virginia Gyorkos travel well."
Gyorko tried to downplay the significance of the home run, though he admitted it was special to homer in a ballpark where he used to come to games as a Pirates fan.
"It's nice to get that kind of support, but I think probably every one of those people have seen me hit a home run at one time or another before, so I don't know if it's a big deal to them or not," he said. "The most important thing is they came here and saw us get a win."
Ronny Cedeno also had three hits for the Padres, who won for the 10th time in 14 games, and Will Venable and Tommy Medica added two hits each. San Diego had a total of 14 hits.
The homer gave Eric Stults (9-13) enough cushion to end his streak of 10 winless starts that dated to the All-Star break.
The left-hander gave up two runs and seven hits in five innings with one walk and five strikeouts for the Padres' seventh quality start in their last eight games. Stults had been 0-6 with a 5.40 ERA since the break.
"It's been a while," Stults said. "It's definitely good to get one. It's one of those things that maybe it'll be a little confidence boost, I've thrown some games where I've had some tough luck and others where I've put us in position to win and it just didn't happen. Very few pitchers have a streak like Max Scherzer with the Tigers where you win 20 in a row before taking your first loss."
Tim Stauffer, Nick Vincent and Luke Gregerson, who posted his fourth save, combined on four scoreless relief innings. Gregerson was filling in for closer Huston Street, who missed his second straight game while attending to a personal matter.
Jeff Locke (10-6) took the loss, allowing four runs and seven hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out five.
"The three-run home run took some of the wind out of the sails early," Locke said. "I put us in a pretty big hole."
The Pirates got two hits each from Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez. McCutchen had gone 1-for-9 with three strikeouts in three games since his 11-game hitting streak ended.
Pittsburgh has scored just 29 runs in its last 11 games.
"I don't think anybody is adding any kind of pressure in this clubhouse," Sanchez said. "For us, it's about competing and winning today. Now, today is done and we've got to win tomorrow. We had a tough game, now we've got to try to shower it off and win tomorrow."
Gyorko's three-run blast to left field, his 19th home run of the season, put the Padres ahead 3-0 in the third inning.
Marlon Byrd answered for the Pirates with a two-run single with two outs in the third. The ball dropped into the right-center field gap when right fielder Kyle Blanks fell down.
San Diego scored a run in the fifth when Chris Denorfia grounded into a double play with the bases loaded and none out.
The Padres tacked on a final run in the seventh an RBI single by Medica.
NOTES: Pittsburgh LF Starling Marte was in the starting lineup for the first time since Aug. 18 and went 1-for-3. Suffering from a bruised right hand, Marte was activated from the disabled list Sept. 7 but was limited to pinch hitting and late-inning defensive replacement work until Tuesday. ... Black said he expects RHP Andrew Cashner, who has pitched a career-high 168 innings, to make his last two starts of the season. ... Pirates RHP Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.54 ERA) will face Padres RHP Tyson Ross (3-8, 3.29) on Wednesday night.

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