Jackson solid, Jankowski steals home and Padres beat Bucs
PITTSBURGH (AP) Travis Jankowski and the San Diego Padres are turning the straight steal of home into a trademark this season.
Edwin Jackson pitched two-hit ball over seven innings, Travis Jankowski capped the scoring by stealing home and the Padres beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 on Wednesday night.
It was the fourth time the Padres had a straight steal of home this season, and the second by Jankowski.
''Almost any of the baserunning metrics you look at, we're at or near the top,'' manager Andy Green said. ''That's the type of team we are. We're going to be aggressive anytime we feel we can take an extra base.''
Jankowski's steal came with two outs in the eighth. The rookie center fielder took off during catcher Eric Fryer's return throw to pitcher Antonio Bastardo and scored standing up when Fryer could not handle Bastardo's low throw to the plate.
''Bastardo is a good pitcher, but I noticed when he was warming up that he was turning his back to the plate and I thought maybe I'd have a chance,'' Jankowski said. ''Once you take off, though, there is no safety net. You're either a hero or a zero. Fortunately, I was a hero.''
Jankowski was 2 for 4 with a double and the only player on either side with multiple hits.
Jackson (3-2) took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Jordy Mercer's leadoff single. The 14-year veteran struck out seven and walked three while raising his career record against the Pirates to 10-3.
''The Pirates are a tough team to pitch against because they have guys who are threats all the way up and down the lineup,'' Jackson said. ''I was able to mix my pitches up and locate them.''
Since being called up July 17 from Triple-A El Paso, Jackson has recorded quality starts in four of five outings. The Miami Marlins released him June 2.
Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer completed the two-hitter with one perfect inning each.
Ryan Vogelsong (1-2) gave up two unearned run and three hits in six innings while striking out five and walking one.
It was the 39-year-old's second start since sustaining facial fractures May 23 when hit by a pitch. He returned last Thursday and allowed one run in six innings against the Braves but did not factor in the decision in a game the Pirates lost.
''If there's a blessing in disguise of getting hit, it's the fact that I got to deal with (Pirates pitching coach) Ray Searage every day for two months,'' Vogelsong said. ''I just got to start from ground zero when we were playing catch on the rehab process and just really starting over and trying to get rid of some of the bad habits that I had gotten into.''
The Padres capitalized on a throwing error by Vogelsong and a fielding error by third baseman Jung Ho Kang to score twice in the second inning.
Ryan Schimpf doubled and scored on Alexei Ramirez's single in the seventh to make it 3-0.
The Pirates remained 2 1/2 games behind the Miami Marlins for the second NL wild card.
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli left the game in the fifth inning with left wrist discomfort. ... 1B John Jaso sat after sustaining a bruised left eye in a home plate collision Tuesday night, though he passed MLB's concussion protocol. ... C Chris Stewart (left knee discomfort) will begin a rehab assignment Friday at Double-A Altoona. He's been on the disabled list since July 2. ... RHP Tyler Glasnow (right shoulder soreness) is scheduled to pitch four innings Sunday in his first rehab start with Altoona and be on a 70-pitch limit after being out since July 24.
PADRES' INFIELD NEWS
The Padres selected the contract of INF Nick Noonan from Triple-A El Paso and he is expected to get the majority of starts at shortstop while Ramirez moves into a bench role. INF Jose Rondon was optioned to El Paso.
Meanwhile, 3B Yangervis Solarte was removed from the game in the first after it appeared manager Andy Green was displeased that he did not run out a popup to shortstop.
Padres: LHP Christian Friedrich (4-7, 4.76 ERA) will start Thursday in the finale of the three-game series and look to end his five-game losing streak that covers seven starts since June 23.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (2-2, 3.39) has pitched six innings in each of his last five starts and allowed three runs or less in each.