Bucs walk off on Alvarez's single vs. Padres

Bucs walk off on Alvarez's single vs. Padres

PITTSBURGH -- Pedro Alvarez's single with two outs in the ninth scored All-Star Andrew McCutchen and gave the Pirates a 2-1 win over San Diego on Monday night, their fifth win in six games moving them a season-high 14 games over .500. Alvarez delivered his second career walk-off hit off Brandon Maurer, who, with one out, had walked McCutchen and allowed a single to Jung Ho Kang. McCutchen moved to third on Francisco Cervelli's fly to center before Alvarez's game-winner.

"It's a really cool feeling. It's something that, as a kid, you always think about doing, walking-off the game," Alvarez said. "Obviously love seeing the guys coming out of the dugout and rushing you."

San Diego starter James Shields faced only one batter over the minimum through 6 1/3 innings, but a double by McCutchen with one out in the seventh led to the tying run on third baseman Yangervis Solarte's errant throw on a two-out grounder by Alvarez.

Alvarez on walk-off win

First-time All-Star A.J. Burnett gave a demonstration of what earned him that honor, allowing five hits and a run in 7 2/3 innings. He lowered his home ERA to 1.28 in eight starts, but has won only two of them.

Burnett pitches into the 8th

"It was so good to see," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of the two-out hit by Alvarez, who two innings earlier had also put a ball into play that led to the tying run. "The man continues to work. He's been on a nice little run here for an extended period, and it sure is a shot in the arm for all of us."

GyorkStore heating up: With two singles Monday, Padres second baseman Jedd Gyorko continued his strong run since coming back from the Minor Leagues on June 30. After his seventh-inning single, Gyorko has nine hits in his last 22 at-bats. Better still, he got it in front of friends and family from nearby Morgantown, W. Va.

Right idea, wrong result: With Jordy Mercer aboard via a single and one out in the third, Burnett squared around to bunt on the first pitch, but pulled back for a full cut on the second and smoked a ball just to the right of second base. Shortstop Alexi Amarista was there to make the pick up and turn it into an easy inning-ending double play.

Shields' strong start

Felt like home cooking: Shields has been a beast in starts in his home ballpark this season, recording a 2.77 ERA in eight starts. Before Monday, his road ERA in nine starts was 5.50. You wouldn't have known it against the Pirates, as Shields opened the game with six shutout innings before allowing an unearned run in the seventh inning.

"He was really good," Padres interim manager Pat Murphy said. "There was nobody that was going to beat him tonight." More >


"Well, I'll be able to look back and laugh if in fact things go really well in the next three months. It's one of those things, where you're in this situation, you've got family on the other side, but it's a baseball game. ... You don't really know how to feel. Your team didn't win, so you're kind of thinking about your own team right now. Pedro's going to be fine, whether that ball got caught or whether it didn't. ... I was hoping we'd catch it and play the 10th." -- Murphy, on the walk-off by Alvarez, his son-in-law

"He was able to feel some emotions he wanted to and needed to feel before the game. Once he got the ball and was going out there, he was set. … He was ready to go." -- Hurdle, on telling Burnett he was an All-Star before his start


Cutch extends hitting streak

McCutchen, playing in his 960th game, doubled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, tying the career high he had set in career games Nos. 8-20 in 2009.

Burnett's second strikeout of the night was career No. 2,462, moving him past Jim Kaat for 35th place on the all-time list, and his fourth and final whiff tied Mark Langston at No. 34 with 2,464.

Consider the leadoff spot a fluid situation for the Padres, who Monday used their ninth -- that's right, ninth -- different leadoff hitter of 2015 in the first game of this series against the Pirates. Derek Norris, the team's catcher, got the nod there for the first time this season.

Padres: Tyson Ross (5-7, 3.63) gets the start on Tuesday against the Pirates. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in each of his last three starts against Pittsburgh. Not only that, but he hasn't allowed a home run in his last 12 starts. First pitch is 4:05 p.m. PT

Pirates: Francisco Liriano will be, surprisingly enough, trying to win consecutive starts for the first time this season when he takes on the Padres in the series' middle game Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET in PNC Park. Despite the lack of more wins, the lefty is on pace for career lows in both ERA (2.99) and WHIP (1.02)

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Corey Brock and Tom Singer are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.