Gregory Polanco's three-run home run highlighted a four-run fifth inning and Chad Kuhl settled down after a turbulent first inning as the Pirates beat the Padres, 6-4, on Tuesday.
The Padres took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Andrew McCutchen misplayed a liner from old buddy Alex Dickerson. Perhaps fearing for his job, the official scorer ruled it a double, but, in any event, Yangervis Solarte scored the game's first run. After a walk to Ryan Schimpf, Jabari Blash singled in Dickerson.
The Pirates got single runs in the second and fourth to tie it at 2, steady ol' David Feese singling and coming around to score both times. He finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Sean Rodriguez drove Freese in the first two times, with a bases-loaded groundout in the second and, with two outs and Kuhl on deck, a single.
Josh Harrison reached on an infield single to start the fifth, then stole second with a nifty move that was honored with an overturn of the original out call. That was a good thing because, after a Starling Marte groundout and McCutchen walk, Polanco smashed a Luis Perdomo fastball over the center-field seats for a 5-2 Pirates lead.
Freese singled again and scored on Francisco Cervelli's double. John Jaso, trailing Freese, was nabbed at the plate, but the lead held up despite a couple late Padres solo homers. Pro bat-flipper Wil Myers took Antonio Bastardo deep in the eighth and Blash, about whom I seem to remember Charlie writing nice things, led off the ninth with a homer off Tony Watson.
Those were the only two hits allowed by the Pirates bullpen, though. Felipe Rivero tossed a clean seventh.
Kuhl got seven groundouts in his six innings, striking out four, walking four and allowing five hits. The Bucs turned four double plays, including three behind Kuhl. Rodriguez, making the start at shortstop, made a few nice stops and started two of the twin-killings.