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Sean Rod walkoff homer lifts Pirates over Padres

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Sean Rodriguez hit a walkoff homer in the 12th inning to lift the Pirates to a 5-4 over the Padres on Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

PITTSBURGH - Sean Rodriguez had a storybook return to Pittsburgh after being acquired from the Braves on Saturday.

Rodriguez had 72 hours to get to Pittsburgh after getting traded to the Bucs Saturday morning. He got there the next day, wanting to come back to a team he loved.

“Deep down, I never felt like I ever stopped being a Pirate,” Rodriguez said.

He had to pack up and catch a flight from Atlanta at 9:04 in the morning Sunday to get there before the first pitch. The turnaround from finding out he was traded to then was just 23 hours.

“There was no doubt he was going to get here as soon as he could get here,” Clint Hurdle said.

He got there just in time.

Right before he was drenched by coolers filled with red Powerade, water, sunflower seeds and bubblegum- both sugar and sugarless- Rodriguez capped off a 12 inning affair against the Padres with a 384 foot home run to left.

A situation like that was why he hustled to get back to his old stomping grounds.

“I definitely want to win,” Rodriguez said. “If I can contribute, that’s definitely one way.”

Rodriguez’s abilities on the field should help a Pirate team that remains just 4.5 games back of first place in the National League Central, but bringing back a veteran leader from the last two years may make an even larger impact.

“I learned a lot from him as a teammate last year,” Jameson Taillon said. “Being one of the older guys, he’s someone I really looked up to, so I’m happy to have him back.”

HOW THEY SCORED
The Padres got on the board in the first when Cory Spangenberg singled home Manuel Margot. He later came home to score on a wild pitch.

The Pirates responded with four unearned runs in the third, with Andrew McCutchen opening the scoring with an RBI single. Jose Osuna delivered the big knock two batters later, looping a three run double to right. Chris Stewart, Starling Marte, McCutchen and David Freese scored that inning.

San Diego tied the game in the ninth on a two out single by Margot, plating Hunter Renfroe and Matt Szczur.

Rodriguez won it in the 12th with his third home run of the season..

PLAY OF THE GAME
Stewart got the rally started in the third by battling Richard for eight pitches before grounding the ball to third. Spangenberg flubbed the roller, though, allowing Stewart to reach base. All four of the runs that inning were unearned, stemming from this error.

TOE THE RUBBER
Taillon rebounded nicely after two terrible outings, going 6.1 innings of two run ball. He allowed five hits, two walks and a wild pitch, striking out eight.

“I just felt from the get-go that today was a little different,” Taillon said. “My stuff felt good. I worked with the bullpen staff and the work was good.”

He retired 10 batters on three pitches or less and threw a first pitch strike to 17 of his 26 batters faced.

Taillon was relieved by Wade LeBlanc, who induced an inning-ending double-play to erase the two base runners he inherited. Juan Nicasio pitched 0.2 innings before giving way to Rivero.

Rivero ended up throwing 41 pitches, with the final one being a two run single. It is his first blown save of the season. Joaquin Benoit finished the ninth and tossed a scoreless 10th.

Dovydas Neverauskas won his first big league decision by going two innings, striking out three.

Richard went six innings, allowing four unearned runs. He allowed five hits and walked one, striking out five. Buddy Baumann took the loss to fall to 0-1.

I SPY
Rivero hit 100 MPH at the start of the ninth inning against Wil Myers. His fastball eventually dipped to 95 MPH against Margot.

LINE OF THE NIGHT
Jose Osuna: 2-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI

HE SAID IT
“That was pretty cool...I didn’t even know how to even react. That was pretty awesome.”- Sean Rodriguez on the ovation he got from the home crowd when entering the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.

ON DECK
The Pirates will start a home and home series against the Detroit Tigers Monday. Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.47) will oppose Jordan Zimmermann (7-8, 5.35) at 7:05 p.m..

NUMB3RS
1. The Pirates snapped a four series losing streak by taking two out of three against San Diego. They also won Friday 10-6.

2. This is the 15th straight game the Pirates won where they scored at least four runs. They are 48-11 this year when they post at least that many runs.

3. Freese has reached base safely in 15 straight starts, posting a .477 OBP during that stretch (31-65). He was hit by a pitch and intentionally walked in five appearances Sunday.

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