Musgrove again quality but Padres can’t do enough to beat Pirates

Joe Musgrove walked to the mound Saturday night with the NL’s leading hitter nursing a balky elbow on the bench and just one hitter in his lineup with a batting average better than .235.

Somewhat predictably, he needed more help than he got.

The Padres stranded a season-high 16 runners, went 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and paid dearly for it when Ke’Bryan Hayes tagged closer Taylor Rogers for a three-run homer to send the Pirates to a 4-2 win on Saturday night at Petco Park.

The majors’ saves leader with 17, Rogers blew his second save of the season after giving up a leadoff double to Diego Castillo, walking Tucupita Marcano on four pitches and serving up a one-out homer to Hayes, spoiling Musgrove’s ninth straight quality start to open the season.

Musgrove struck out seven and allowed one run on six hits in six innings, only to hand a 1-1 game to the bullpen because of a hapless offense.


Robert Suarez struck out the side in the seventh and was in line for the win after Trent Grisham’s seventh-inning single scored Luke Voit from second base with two outs.

It was the Padres’ first hit in their first 13 at-bats with runners in scoring position. They got one more hit with runners in scoring position when Jake Cronenworth’s infield single in the eighth loaded the bases, but Wil Myers struck out to end the inning.


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