Recent acquisition Ryan Ludwick had been just 5-28 as a Padre. He had no homers even though seven of his first eight games were played outside of Petco Park. That changed as he belted two solo homers in a Padres win.
After the Pirates left Pedro Alvarez at third with one out in the second, Ludwick led off the home half of the second with a dinger. Padres starter Wade LeBlanc connected on a two out single off Jeff Karstens that scored Yorvit Torrealba to make it 2-0. Andrew McCutchen threw out Chris Denorfia at third on the play, ending the inning. After that, Karstens retired the next 12 Padres in order.
Alvarez came through with a two out single of his own in the top of the third to cut the lead to 2-1. It would get no closer. After Delwyn Young’s single pinch hitting for Karstens was wasted with a McCutchen double play grounder, Wil Ledezma surrendered a homer to the first batter he faced in the seventh – Ludwick. The Padres tacked on some insurance with Denorfia doubled off Chris Resop in the 8th and scored on a single from Jerry Hairston Jr.
Karstens allowed just three hits and two runs in six innings. He struck out three. LeBlanc was pulled after giving up a two out double to Andy LaRoche in the sixth. He gave up one run on five hits. He struck out eight and walked two. The Padres bullpen tossed 3-1/3 IP of scoreless relief, with Heath Bell tossing the 9th for his 32nd save of the year.
No complaints about Karstens effort.
Tabata had two hits.
The bullpen gave up two runs in two innings.
Karstens is 0-3 against San Diego, getting beaten by them for the second time this year. LeBlanc is now 2-1 against Pittsburgh with both wins coming in 2010.
LeBlanc’s eight Ks match a career high.
Karstens has failed to record more than 18 outs in any of his last 11 starts. However, in his last nine starts he has given up just more than three earned runs just twice. Over those last nine starts, he is 0-6.
LaRoche made his first appearance at first base as a Pirate. That was just his second start in the last month. I have to believe he won’t be with the team next year after a failed year-and-a-half trial.
Ludwick has eleven career games with two homers. He has victimized Pittsburgh with such a feat twice.