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Pirates blow lead to Padres, fall 4-3

An error at first by Josh VanMeter got the Padres back in the game.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at San Diego Padres Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Bryan Reynolds homered and Jose Quintana had another good start, but some ugly play at first base by Josh VanMeter allowed the San Diego Padres back in the game and the Pittsburgh Pirates never recovered in a 4-3 defeat.

Reynolds got the scoring started in the first with a towering solo shot, his sixth of the year.

Then in the fourth, a Diego Castillo double down the left field line scored Ben Gamel and Van Meter, putting the Buccos up 3-0 with Quintana seemingly cruising.

But in the sixth, with one on and one out, VanMeter couldn’t make a routine play on a throw from third, and that was the spark the Padres needed.

Quintana was pulled and Wil Crowe, who has been good so far this year, got an out before giving up a three-run homer to Luke Voit on a 2-2 pitch and now it’s a game that’s tied at 3.

San Diego then secured the win in the eighth off of Duane Underwood Jr., who allowed a walk and two hits in his lone inning, including the game-winning single to Wil Myers.

It was a tough loss for the Buccos, who were playing without Ke’Bryan Hayes, who was out with back soreness, Yoshi Tsutsugo, who is on the 10-day list, and Michael Chavis, who was forced out of the game in the fifth with an arm injury.

VanMeter’s error came one year to the day after Will Craig’s infamous error last year, so mark May 27 on your calendar as Ugly Error Day for the Bucs.

Quintana went five and a third, giving up four hits, two walks, and striking out four, and the two runs credited to him were unearned. He lowered his ERA to 2.15 on the season. Underwood was hit with the loss, his first of the year.

The Bucs only hammered out four hits at the plate, as the offense continues to struggle, but it likely would have been enough had the fielding error not occur.

VanMeter said this about his mistake:

“I make that play 99 times out of 100. That happened to be the one time. Good teams take advantage of mistakes. They did that. It just sucks. Terrible feeling. The good thing about baseball is there’s another one tomorrow.”