SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dinelson Lamet needed 27 pitches to get through the first inning. He settled down quite nicely from there.
Lamet pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning and fellow rookie Manuel Margot homered and scored twice, leading the San Diego Padres to a 4-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
“It was something that I was aware of and I focused on,” Lamet said through a translator “I knew after that first inning that they had made me work and I had thrown a lot of pitches there. So going on from the second inning on, I tried to get outs early.”
Lamet (5-4) held the Pirates hitless until David Freese and Adam Frazier opened the fifth with singles. The right-hander got Francisco Cervelli to line out to second baseman Carlos Asuaje, who doubled off Freese. Jordy Mercer flied out to end the inning.
Lamet was pulled after the first two batters reached in the seventh. Craig Stammen came in and Freese responded with an RBI single. Adam Frazier then singled before Cervelli hit into a double play, bringing in Josh Bell.
After Mercer walked, Phil Maton came in and struck out pinch hitter Jose Osuna to end the inning.
“I was honestly just focused on getting deep into the game. … I wanted to throw at least seven innings,” Lamet said.
“He did a great job tonight,” manager Andy Green said. “He was around the zone pretty much most of the day. It wasn’t pinpoint command, but we don’t really look at him as that type of pitcher. It’s stuff over location. It’s trusting that stuff. It’s electric enough that if he mixes it effectively he’s going to do a good job.”
San Diego stretched its win streak to four. Pittsburgh lost its fourth straight and sixth in seven games overall.
Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his first save of the season and second of his career.
Pittsburgh right-hander Ivan Nova (10-8) was charged with four runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked none.
San Diego jumped on Nova for two in the first. Margot singled and scored on Jose Pirela’s first of two triples. Hector Sanchez added a run-scoring double.
Rookie Hunter Renfroe hit an RBI double in the fourth, and Margot added his eighth homer in the fifth.
Pirela went 2 for 4 and scored a run. He is filling in at first base while slumping Wil Myers gets two games off.
The Pirates have been frustrated in the first two games of the series.
“We need to show up tomorrow,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We need to shower well tonight and show up tomorrow and win a ballgame.”
The Pirates are struggling to stay in the NL Central race while the Padres are buried in fourth place in the West.
“You keep playing,” Hurdle said. “You don’t get concerned about all that other noise, because that’s what it is. You’ve got to take care of your own team, you’ve got to take care of yourselves, and that’s what we need to do right now.”
Pirates: Hurdle said OF Gregory Polanco (hamstring) is getting close to coming off the disabled list.
Padres: C Austin Hedges (concussion) and 2B Yangervis Solarte (strained side muscle) are scheduled to come off the disabled list on Sunday. Solarte could play some shortstop.
Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole (8-7, 4.12 ERA), who lives in Santa Ana and played at UCLA, is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday. He is 5-1 with a 3.04 ERA in his last eight starts, and 3-1 with a 1.52 ERA in four career starts against San Diego.
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (5-11, 5.37 ERA) has a 2.01 ERA in eight appearances against the Pirates, including three starts.