The Bucs started off hot again. McCutch walked, Xavier Paul dropped down a bunt single, and clean-up man Neil Walker doubled the duo home to put the Bucs up 2-0 four batters into the game against Mat Latos.
Jeff Karstens gave up a one-out double to Orlando Hudson, but struck out a pair in the opening frame. The second inning went without much ado.
In the third, the Bucs started off with McCutch walking and Paul lining a knock into center. Garrett Jones bounced one to second for the force, and Neil Walker tried the same thing. SD got it right the second time around, closing the frame by turning a 4-6-3 DP.
That's not all the they would do right that inning. They punchless Padres used JK for BP. Latos led off with a homer, Eric Patterson followed with another a batter later, and a Ryan Ludwick double came around on Cameron Maybin's single. San Diego was up 3-2.
The game went into a lull until the bottom of the fifth, when Karstens was KO'ed. The Padres started off with a singe and walk, and Clint Hurdle had seen enough, calling on Daniel McCutchen. He got a quick DP - McCutch ran down Ludwick's fly, and the runners tagged.
McCutch hit the relay man, Ronny Cedeno, who cut the ball and fired to second to get the back runner. It chilled the Padre hopes for a big inning and some insurance. The sixth was quiet, except that Brandon Wood came on to play third; Pedro's quad muscle tightened up and he had to leave the game.
The Bucs finally came to life in the seventh. Chris Snyder walked, was bunted to second by Wood, and moved to third on a Cedeno single. Matt Diaz pinch hit, and doubled in a run. McCutch singled them both home on a rope to center, and it was 5-3 Pittsburgh. And with the lights-out bullpen work, that's money in the bank, hey?
Eh, maybe not tonight. Mike Crotta came in - and we don't have a lot of problem with Hurdle using him; his bullpen has had to absorb a lot of innings lately - and the sinker baller pitched OK but without a bit of luck.
Chris Denorfia singled off Cedeno's glove, and Jason Bartlett followed with another infield hit to short. Both were tough plays, and RC could make neither. That brought on Joe Beimel in an effort to turn the karma.
Didn't work; a bunt caught Wood flatfooted; maybe he thought Beimel was going to field the ball initially. At any rate, it loaded the sacks and St. Mary's Joes was in a jam. It got worse when he walked in a run.
The pressure was eased by an around the horn DP that brought in a fifth run. The Friars tied the score in an inning here the ball never left the infield.
In the eighth, Lyle Overbay singled with two away and stole second, but Snyder grounded out. Beimel stayed on to pitch the bottom half of the frame.
He struck out the first hitter, but Rob Johnson hit his first home run of the year to give San Diego the lead. The Padres have hit three homers in the game; all three were the first of the year for the hitters Johnson, Petterson, and Latos.
A single earned Beimel the hook; Danny Moskos came on and got a DP ball to end the inning.
The Bucs didn't give up. Wood walked and Cedeno bunted him to second. With Dewey up, catcher Rob Johnson blocked a ball and Wood headed to third. He didn't make it; Chase Headley put a quick tag on him, and the Buc's last threat was off the basepaths thanls to another braincramp navigating the sacks.
And that's tonight's story - three infield hits and three homers by the Padres were enough to beat the Bucs 6-5.
Kevin Correia will go against Clayton Richard today at 6:35 PM.
-- Although the two teams combined for 20 hits and drew eight walks, they only stranded ten runners between them. Each side hit into three DP's, and the Bucs lost two guys on the bases, the Padres one.