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Saturday December 16 2017
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Padres' rookie beats Bucs for second time in eight days

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The Pirates could not get anything going against Padres’ starter Dinelson Lamet in a 5-2 loss Saturday night at PNC Park.

THE BIG STORY: For the second consecutive Saturday, the Pirates’ had no choice but to lament their bats against Lamet.

After a six inning, two run performance on July 29, Lamet’s encore was even better Saturday, going 5.2 innings of shutout, one-hit ball. While he walked three and hit a batter, the Pirates never had a runner advance past second against him. They also did not hit a ball with an exit velocity of 100 MPH or greater, according to Baseball Savant.

“Picked up where he left off with his slider,” Josh Harrison said. "Mixed it in random counts, kept us off balance here and there."

That slider was the difference for Lamet, who threw it 46 times Saturday, compared to 44 fastballs. He got eight whiffs with it, and only one of the six batted balls against it fell for a hit: Josh Bell’s fourth inning ground ball single.

Clint Hurdle said the snapper had some “wiffleball effect” to it, but he also praised the rest of his repertoire, which includes a fastball and a changeup that the skipper thought he threw just enough to stay in play.

“It’s a good mix,” Hurdle said. “...it’s a variety. It’s not just the same speed all the time.”

“There was no room for error,” Hurdle said later.

HOW THEY SCORED

The Padres scored in the third when Starling Marte was unable to rundown a sinking liner off the bat of Wil Myers. That allowed Cory Spagenberg to come home with two outs. Myers tacked on in the fifth with a two run homer to center, bringing home Yangervis Solarte.

Harrison got the Pirates rolling in the seventh with a lead-off home run into the notch in left. Adam Frazier singled home Francisco Cervelli later in the inning to make it 3-2.

The Padres immediately responded in the top of the eighth when Dusty Coleman hit a two run home run off of Daniel Hudson. Luis Torrens also scored on the hit.

PLAY OF THE GAME

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Andrew McCutchen popped up a 1-1, 90 MPH two-seamer to the first baseman Myers to end the inning.

TOE THE RUBBER

Gerrit Cole fell to 9-8 on the year after allowing three runs in six innings. He surrendered eight hits.

“The fastball location was ok today, but a few of those ground balls that found the holes, they could have been located better,” Cole said.

Cole walked a pair and struck out five. He threw 20 first pitch strikes to the 29 batters he faced- including the last 12- and retired 11 on three pitches or less.

He was relieved by Wade LeBlanc, Daniel Hudson and Dovydas Neverauskas. While LeBlanc and Neverauskas tossed a scoreless seventh and ninth inning, Hudson surrendered a two run home run.

Lamet improves to 6-4 on the year. Padres’ closer Brad Hand tossed a perfect ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season.

IN THE NEWS

The Pirates made a pair of moves before Saturday’s game, trading for utilityman Sean Rodriguez from the Atlanta Braves and picking up relief pitcher George Kontos off waivers from the San Francisco Giants.

Rodriguez was activated from the disabled list in July after getting into a car crash last offseason. He is hitting .162 with a .362 OBP and two home runs in 37 at-bats so far this season. He is also under contract for $5.75 million in 2018. In exchange, the Pirates gave Atlanta minor league infielder/catcher Connor Joe.

The 32 year old Kontos has posted a 3.83 ERA, 47.9 percent ground ball rate and 9.6 strikeouts per inning in 2017. He is under team control through 2019 via arbitration.

To make room for the two players, relief pitcher Jhan Marinez and minor league outfielder Danny Ortiz were designated for assignment.

LINE OF THE NIGHT

Dinelson Lamet: W, 5.2 IP, 1 H, 5 K, 3 BB

HE SAID IT

“I knew I hit it decent, and I saw it take the hop off the mound, and I was like ‘please don’t get it.’ Once I saw him get it, I was like, ‘make a bad flip.’ Once he barehand it, I was like, ‘yeah, I’m out.’”- Harrison on the play by Padres’ shortstop Dusty Coleman. Coleman ranged to his left to get a sharp liner behind the back before feeding it to second baseman Carlos Asuaje to start a double-play in the eighth inning.

ON DECK

Jameson Taillon (6-5, 4.74) will look to bounce back from a pair of horrendous starts against Clayton Richard (5-12, 5.40) in the rubber match of the series Sunday. First pitch is at 1:35 p.m..

NUMB3RS

1. Frazier has 13 hits in his last 25 at-bats after a 1-3 performance Saturday (.520).

2. Harrison now has 12 home runs this season, which is one away from his career high in 2014 (13). He homered just four times in both 2015 and 2016.

3. Josh Bell went 2-4 Saturday. He is leading all rookies with 96 hits this season.

 

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