Neil Walker summed it up succinctly.
“Some nights you just get beat,” the Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman said.
Andrew Cashner carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and faced the minimum 27 batters in a one-hitter that sent the San Diego Padres past the Pirates 2-0 last night.
Cashner (10-8) retired his first 18 batters before Jose Tabata grounded a clean single into right field leading off the seventh. Tabata was erased when Andrew McCutchen grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the right-hander cruised the rest of the way for his first complete game in 31 career starts.
“Cashner was throwing three quality pitches for strikes and, most importantly, he was keeping them all down in the strike zone,” Walker said. “Sometimes, you have games like this where the other guy just pitches a great game.”
The Pirates lost for the second time in eight games but remained tied for the NL Central lead with the St. Louis Cardinals, who were beaten 6-2 at Colorado.
After losing his bid for perfection, Cashner was glad he was able to induce a double play from McCutchen, who is hitting .324.
“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, who has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last 11 starts, did not second-guess himself about throwing a sinker to Tabata.
“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 struck out seven, did not walk a batter and threw 97 pitches. He also scored from second on a single, sliding home with the second run of the game, moments before giving up Tabata’s hit.
Kyle Blanks, Ronny Cedeno and Rene Rivera each had two hits as the Padres won for the ninth time in 13 games. They are 17-3 in their last 20 at PNC Park.
A.J. Burnett (8-11) took a shutout into the seventh but wound up with the loss. He allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, with three walks and eight strikeouts.
“A.J. pitched a heck of a 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 singles, and Cashner bunted into a fielder’s choice that left runners at the corners.
Will Venable hit a sacrifice fly, and Cashner scored on Jedd Gyorko’s single to left.
Burnett said he didn’t feel any pressure in trying to match Cashner.
“It doesn’t bother me,” Burnett said. “I stick to what I do and my game plan. I just try to go out and get us back in the dugout as quick as he does.”
Pittsburgh left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke (10-5, 3.14 ERA) starts tonight against lefty Eric Stults (8-13, 4.03).
Neil Walker summed it up succinctly.
Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1
Brett Anderson pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than a year and the Colorado Rockies beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 on Friday night.
Pirates jump on Haren early, top Dodgers 6-1
Josh Harrison had two hits with two RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates jumped on Dan Haren early in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Polanco, Walker lift Pirates over Dodgers 12-7
Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a solo home run and a tiebreaking two-run single, lifting the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 12-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
Pirates beat Rockies 5-3 for 3-game sweep
Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsbur‘gh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.
Pirates Baseball: Resilient Bucs looking for post All-Star surge
The Pittsburgh Pirates find themselves in an average, every day — if still heated — pennant race. A season after shedding the yoke of two decades of failure with a stirring run to a playoff berth, the Pirates are just another solid if not spectacular team trying to keep pace in the jam-packed NL Central.
Pirates Baseball: Three Bucs named to All-Star team
Here are the rosters for the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday, July 15, at Target Field in Minneapolis. Three Pittsburgh Pirates were chosen to play in the game — outfields Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison, and pitcher Tony Watson.
Pirates Baseball: Locke leads Bucs past Phils, Burnett
Jeff Locke spent a lot of time with A.J. Burnett last year, and then faced his mentor in a pitching matchup in Pittsburgh. Locke got the best of Burnett yesterday in Pittsburgh’s 6-2 victory that finished off a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Pirates Baseball: Harrison gets big hit, Bucs trade Grilli
Josh Harrison got the game-winning hit and yet all anyone wanted to ask him about was how he wriggled out of that wild rundown an inning earlier.
Pirates Baseball: McCutchen has 2 RBIs, Bucs beat Rays
The Pittsburgh Pirates came out on top in their latest one-run game. Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs, Jeff Locke pitched into the eighth inning, and the Pirates beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 last night.
Photos, Video, Story: Pittsburgh Pirates visit local students
The Pittsburgh Pirates adopted the entire fourth-grade class at George Washington Intermediate Elementary School yesterday. It was a perfect match because it was obvious that the 220 students in the auditorium had clearly embraced the black and gold as their baseball team long ago.
- More Pirates Headlines
- Anderson leads Rockies over Pirates 8-1