Padres domination came to abrupt stop at PNC Park

San Diego had won 14 straight series in Pittsburgh before being swept

Padres domination came to abrupt stop at PNC Park

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

The sweep of the Padres by the Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh earlier this week ended one of the longest streaks in Major League history.

Going into this week, the Padres had never lost a series in Pittsburgh since PNC Park opened in 2001.

The Padres had won 14 straight series in Pittsburgh -- a mark that equaled the third-longest road series winning streak in Major League history. It was also the longest road series winning streak since the Pirates won 15 straight series in Boston against the Boston Braves from 1908-12.

That's right. The Padres domination of the Pirates in Pittsburgh was longest by a road team in more than a century.

Even with this week's three losses, the Padres have an all-time, win-loss record of 32-15 at PNC Park -- the .681 winning percentage being the Padres highest at any active National League ballpark.

From the scorecard:

• Right fielder Matt Kemp's seventh home run of the season in the first inning at Pittsburgh on Wednesday marked the 20th time this season that Kemp had given the Padres a lead with an RBI, tying him for the Major League lead with Nelson Cruz, Todd Frazier and Bryce Harper. Kemp has three homers in his last 13 games, and six in his last 30.

• Left fielder Justin Upton (46), Kemp (45) and catcher Derek Norris (45) make the Padres the only team in the National League with three hitters with 45 or more RBIs. The Cincinnati Reds are the only other National League team with three players with 40 or more RBIs. This is the first time since 2007 -- Adrian Gonzalez (52), Khalil Greene (51) and Mike Cameron (43) -- that the Padres have had three players with 40 or more RBIs at the All-Star break.

• Catcher Derek Norris hit in the lead-off slot in all three games in Pittsburgh. Not only was it the first time Norris led off a game, he now holds the Padres record for games hitting in the lead-off spot as a catcher. It had happened only once before in franchise history when Brad Ausmus led-off as the catcher on Sept. 18, 1995, against the Rockies at Qualcomm Stadium.

Justin Upton's home run-robbing, leaping catch of Andrew McCutchen's drive Tuesday turns out to be the first of the left f ielder's career. According to, Upton's defensive play has kept eight runs off the board this season (including the two Tuesday). That is the most by any NL left fielder, and the fifth-most this season by any NL outfielder.

• Justin Upton, who is the first outfielder to represent the Padres in the All-Star Game since Rondell White in 2003, is the third player in franchise history to have 14 homers and 16 steals by the break. He joins Reggie Sanders (15 homers, 20 steals in 1999) and Ryan Klesko (17 homers, 17 steals in 2001).