Mark Melancon gave up two runs in the ninth as the Pirates fell to the Padres 3-2 Wednesday night. The Padres had taken a 1-0 lead into the seventh, at which point Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run blast to right. Charlie Morton, meanwhile, struck out nine and allowed one run over eight terrific innings. In the ninth, though, Jedd Gyorko led off with a single. Melancon got two outs after that, but allowed singles to Chris Denorfia, Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera to give the Padres a 3-2 lead. The Pirates went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the inning. - Charlie
Some postgame quotes from the Pirates' clubhouse following one of the toughest losses of the season:
On Mark Melancon: "Pitched the way he does most of the time. His cutter was out there, they went with it. They were able to find some holes. They just found areas where we weren't."
On Charlie Morton's start: "Fantastic. Just a big time effort ... just efficient, balls on the ground, first pitch strikes, he had the whole package tonight."
Did you consider leaving Morton in for the ninth? "No."
On the recent offensive slump: "I've been on some teams, Texas we had a good offensive team and I've seen it, Colorado I saw it, not so much at home, but you'd see it on the road. It's one of the challenges that comes from the game."
On the dramatic swings of emotion in game/season like this: "That's why we continue to hold on to the fact that you have to meet the demands of the game in the long haul. The challenge of sport goes along those lines; the challenge of life goes along those lines. That's why when you're up, you try not to get too high. You enjoy the moment and know you have more work to do."
On the Padres scoring two runs in the ninth against him: "Just need to tip your hat. They put the ball in play, found some holes, they did a good job. Sometimes it happens that way. (The pitches) weren't good enough. It can always be better. Tonight is magnified because of the time of year, but you've got to push it aside and go after it tomorrow."
Could he have finished the game? "I'd like to think I could, but Mark's been dominant. I think that was the right decision. I wouldn't ever question it."
Mood in dugout following McCutchen home run: "It was awesome. Awesome."
Is this as tested you guys have been? "I don't sense anything in the clubhouse. I don't sense anything out of the ordinary. I've said this all year, I think one of the strengths of this team has been the ability to move past what happened, good or bad."
On the team's recent offensive struggles: "We can do a lot better job than what we're doing right now. It's time to pick it up, it's time to get going. We have the offense to score the runs. The game doesn't change. The situations change, but the game doesn't change. We need to keep treating it that way and we just have to step it up tomorrow and be ready."
On his home run: "I got a pitch to hit out of that at bat and I didn't miss it. It's what I'm supposed to do ... I don't see a lot of good pitches on 3-0. It's not too often I've gotten a lot of real, real good pitches to hit on 3-0."