Edwin Jackson no-hit the Pirates through five innings and the Bucs managed two hits on the night, failing to back Ryan Vogelsong in a 4-0 loss to the Padres on Tuesday.
Jackson struck out seven and walked three, showing improvement from the time he did throw a no-hitter, finishing with just the two hits allowed in seven innings. Jackson finished the night with 103 pitches, a whole 46 fewer than the no-hitter, if you were wondering. I can neither confirm nor deny Tuesday's effort is part of Wilbur's series on Pirates-Rays similarities.
Jordy Mercer broke up the no-hitter with a clean single up the middle to lead off the bottom of the sixth. He, like all Pirates baserunners, didn't get past second base.
Andrew McCutchen got the other Pirates hit, leading off the seventh. He moved to second on a wild pitch, giving the Bucs, down 3-0 at the time, their best chance of the night, but Jackson fanned Gregory Polanco and David Freese, then got Jung-Ho Kang to line out to end the meager threat.
Vogelsong fell behind early due to some poor fielding, including his own. Jabari Blash doubled in the second, then Christian Bethancourt hit a dribbler that Vogelsong threw up the first-base line, allowing Blash to score. Kang couldn't handle a Jackson grounder, which allowed Bethancourt to score for a 2-0 Padres lead.
Vogelsong didn't allow a hit in his four innings after that, turning in his second straight serviceable start since returning from his frightening facial injury. He struck out five, walked just one and allowed three hits in six innings.
Juan Nicasio came on in the seventh, and Ryan Schimpf scored on Alexei Ramirez single, just avoiding the tag on Starling Marte's throw in a call that was held up after review.
Antonio Bastardo relieved Nicasio with two outs and Travis Jankowski on third base in the eighth. When Eric Fryer threw the ball back to Bastardo during Alex Dickerson's at-bat, Jankowski stole home for San Diego's fourth run.
The Padres have given me the willies ever since some memorably frustrating wins over the Pirates during the collapses of 2011 and 2012. It's hard to say if the Pirates are even in a position high enough from which they can collapse this year, but the Padres could easily join the list of teams the Bucs let get by in a crucial part of the schedule.