Choi, Reynolds, Santana homer to lead the Pirates to win over Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ji Man Choi, Bryan Reynolds and Carlos Santana hit home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who held off the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Wednesday to win two of three games.
David Bednar loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning and then walked pinch-hitter Juan Soto before getting rookie Taylor Kohlwey to foul out and then striking out Trent Grisham. Bednar, who played with the Padres in 2019 and 2020, hopped off the mound and punched his glove with his fist after securing his 20th save and converting his 16th straight chance.
“It's cool to be back here and to leave here with a series win is huge,” Bednar said.
“He's an All-Star, man," said bench coach Don Kelly, who served as acting manager while Derek Shelton served a one-game suspension handed down by major league baseball, who also suspended reliever Angel Perdomo for three games for intentionally throwing at Manny Machado the night before.
“Just the way he's able to compose himself in that moment, crowd going wild, he was able to slow things down and really hone it in when he needed to," Kelly added. ‘That’s why he's an All-Star.”
The Padres, who have baseball's third-highest payroll but are mired in fourth place in the NL West, went 1-5 this season against Pittsburgh, which is in last place in the NL Central.
Bednar struck out Machado opening the ninth before walking Xander Bogaerts, allowing a single to Luis Campusano and hitting Jake Cronenworth with a pitch. He then walked Soto on four straight pitches.
“I just wasn't going to give in and let him beat me,” Bednar said. “With the two runs and a big homer in the ninth, just being aggressive and trusting myself and knowing that, get the next two guys and not let him beat me. Once I fell behind I wasn't going to just give in.”
Right-hander Johan Oviedo (4-11) shook off three pitch clock violations and a wild pitch in the first inning to snap a streak of eight straight losing decisions. He held San Diego to one run and three hits in six innings to win for the first time since May 19 against Arizona.
Oviedo threw a wild pitch behind Fernando Tatis Jr. in the first inning, allowing Ha-Seong Kim to take second. Earlier Wednesday, MLB suspended Perdomo for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for hitting Manny Machado in the back with a 98-mph fastball after giving up a home run to Juan Soto in the seventh inning of the Padres’ 5-1 win Tuesday night.
Oviedo had consecutive pitch clock violations, including an automatic ball to walk Tatis and then an automatic ball to start an at-bat against Machado, who grounded into a double play. Oviedo had a third violation during an at-bat against Xander Bogaerts, who lined out. Oviedo hit Bogaerts with a pitch in the third inning and swiped at the mound in frustration.
Oviedo said he felt the Padres were trying to slow him down. “I execute really good pitches when my rhythm is a little bit quick, so I feel they were trying to lull me down a little bit in the first inning,” he said.
Choi homered to center off Seth Lugo (4-5) leading off the second, his sixth of the season.
The Padres tied it with two outs in the third when Kim scored from first on Machado's fly ball that fell in for a double just past shortstop Alika Williams, who was trying to make an over-the-shoulder catch as he was running into left field.
Reynolds put the Pirates back on top when he homered leading off the fourth, his 11th. Santana homered off Robert Suarez leading off the ninth, his 12th of the season and fifth against the Padres.
Lugo tied his career high with eight strikeouts while allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (9-6, 4.01 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night in the opener of a three-game home series against Philadelphia.
Padres: RHP Joe Musgrove (9-3, 3.25) is scheduled to start Friday night's series opener against the Texas Rangers, who will counter with RHP Dane Dunning (8-3, 3.18).
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