Pomeranz strikes out 10, Padres shut down Pirates 8-2
SAN DIEGO (AP) Led by Drew Pomeranz's career-high 10 strikeouts, the San Diego Padres played their best all-around game this season in an 8-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Matt Kemp homered and left fielder Melvin Upton Jr. and third baseman Adam Rosales made spectacular defensive plays.
''I think everything was solid,'' Kemp said. ''We've had a couple of good wins but I think this by far was the best one we've had. We need to have more of those. That would be nice.''
The Padres have taken the first two of three games against the Pirates for their first home series win this season.
Pomeranz held Pittsburgh to four singles and an unearned run.
His previous career high in strikeouts was eight, accomplished twice before, most recently Thursday at Philadelphia. Only two Pirates baserunner reached scoring position against Pomeranz (2-1) over 6 2/3 innings.
''My curveball was the best thing working today,'' he said. ''I threw a lot of them. I was attacking them with it early on and they kept missing it, so I just kept throwing it.''
Pomeranz almost got through seven scoreless innings but shortstop Alexei Ramirez committed a fielding error with two outs and a runner on first. Pomeranz was replaced by Kevin Quackenbush and Jordy Mercer doubled in an unearned run. Mercer had three hits.
Pomeranz, obtained in a trade with Oakland in December, walked three.
He was the first lefty to face the Pirates this year.
''He had a big-time curveball tonight. You don't see it every day,'' Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. ''That was a weapon for him tonight.''
San Diego roughed up lefty Jeff Locke (0-2) for eight runs and 11 hits in three-plus innings.
Kemp hit his fifth homer leading off the fourth. It was estimated at 441 feet off Locke into the Padres' bullpen beyond the fence in left-center.
The Padres scored four runs in the second on two walks and five hits, only two of which left the infield. They added three runs on four hits in the third, including an RBI triple by Ramirez
''The rolled seven balls through the infield on us,'' Hurdle said. ''Ground balls found holes, then the double and the triple then the homer, so they added on some length after that.''
Upton made a leaping catch against the wall to rob Matt Joyce of a two-run homer in the ninth. He also made a nice catch of a line drive by Cole Figueroa in the ninth.
In the sixth, Rosales made a nice backhanded stop of Francisco Cervelli's ground ball and threw him out.
''The offensive output from pretty much everybody in the lineup, the home run from Kemp, and for me, defense wins games,'' manager Andy Green said. ''Those hits Upton took away in the last inning, that keeps our closer off the mound. That's a big deal. Otherwise you've got to get (Fernando) Rodney in the game again and that's not what we want to do in that situation. We want to let him rest.''
Padres: 2B Cory Spangenberg was put on the disabled list with a strained left quad. Taking his roster spot was Jemile Weeks from Triple-A El Paso, who started at 2B. ... RHP Tyson Ross, the team's opening day starter, will have an MRI on his sore right shoulder. Ross felt discomfort in Tuesday's abbreviated throwing session and will be shut down.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (0-2, 4.22 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale Thursday night.
Padres: RHP James Shields (0-2, 4.05 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Padres.