A familiar face proved to be a formidable foe Sunday for the Pittsburgh Pirates, as former Bucco Joe Musgrove scattered seven hits over seven innings and the San Diego Padres held on for a 5-2 victory at PNC Park.
Shaky relief pitching nearly robbed Musgrove of the win, as the Pirates loaded the bases in the eighth with no outs trailing 3-1 as reliever Robert Suarez walked the first two batters and then Yoshi Tsutsugo singled off Suarez’s glove.
Pinch hitter Michael Chavis drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game, but the Padres escaped further damage when reliever Tim Hill got pinch hitter Diego Castillo to ground into a double play. San Diego added two runs in the ninth.
Aside from the first inning, Musgrove had little trouble in mowing down the Pirates before they finally got on the board in the seventh.
Meanwhile, Pirates starter Mitch Keller rebounded from a rough outing his last time out, as he gave up just one run and five hits in six innings of work. Keller struck out five and did not walk a batter, and the only inning he allowed more than one runner to reach base came in the third when the Padres parlayed three singles into a run.
The Friars added two in the seventh off reliever Chase DeJong, as a two-out error by shortstop Cole Tucker extended the inning and Trent Grisham made the Bucs pay by delivering a two-run single.
Musgrove cruised into the seventh but finally gave up a run when Jack Suwinski singled, moved to second on a fielder’s choice and scored on Roberto Perez’s single off the right field wall.
The Pirates’ only other threat came in the first. One-out singles by Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes put runners at first and second, but Musgrove induced Tsutsugo to ground into a force play and got Ben Gamel to fly out to left.