Jordan Lyles got revenge in his first crack at his old team, striking out 12 Padres over seven sensational innings in a 5-3 Pirate win Friday night.
Lyles’ (4-1) lone hiccup came early when Franmil Reyes got a hold of a first inning fastball and took it deep to center. That would be the loudest of the six base runners he allowed on the night- the others being four singles and a walk.
Lyles’ curveball was the story of the night, getting eight of his strikeouts with the pitch. He offered it 30 times in his 104 pitch performance, getting seven whiffs and six called strikes.
His 12 strikeouts are a new career high.
The Pirates jumped ahead in the fourth on a bloop by Josh Bell and a blast by Bryan Reynolds, his second of the season.
Cole Tucker was the center of the late insurance runs, coming home on an eighth inning Melky Cabrera double and driving home Elias Diaz on a base knock in the ninth. Colin Moran tacked on an RBI in the ninth on a seeing eye single.
Those insurance runs turned out to be valuable when Felipe Vazquez allowed a two run homer to Ty France in the ninth. Vazquez finished the game in a non-save situation.
Padres’ starter Joey Lucchesi (3-3) tossed his best outing of 2019- seven innings of two run, five hit ball- in a losing effort.
The Pirates will opt for a bullpen game Saturday. (Not an opener. An opener is when a reliever pitches an inning before giving way to a traditional starter. A bullpen game is when only relievers pitch. The more you know.) Montana DuRapau will be the first man up. The Padres will start Nick Margevicius (2-4, 4.14), with first pitch coming at 8:40 p.m..
1. Lyles’ 12 strikeouts are the most by a Pirate pitcher since Francisco Liriano struck out 13 on July 21, 2016.
2. Kyle Crick’s 76.5 MPH average exit velocity is the lowest in baseball among pitchers with at least 25 batted balls, per Baseball Savant. He got two ground outs Friday with exit velocities of 82.4 and 64.1 MPH.
3. Lyles’ eight strikeouts on the curve are the most in one game by an NL Pitcher this year, per Baseball Savant.