PITTSBURGH -- Chase Headley continued his recent hot-hitting on Saturday, homering and driving in three to lead the Padres to a 5-0 victory over the Pirates. Headley hit a solo blast off A.J. Burnett in the first inning that got the Padres on the board. The third baseman also plated a run with a groundout in the second, and walked with the bases juiced in the sixth. He's now hitting .278 with 18 blasts and 70 RBIs.
"We talk about the evolution of Chase, and we're seeing some changes in his game," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He's doing a lot of things that makes him an improving player, there was a time when people were at times critical of him, maybe he's too patient. Now you're seeing it's a combination of first-pitch swings, Saturday night was a first-pitch homer. We are seeing aggressive swings, and with that comes the pitchers can't just throw the ball in there like they did a couple years ago, where he gave pitchers a first-pitch strike.
"He's evolving and he's got a good head on his shoulders, to know that this game is always about moving forward and doing things to improve. He's an example of a great learner."
Headley, who hit three home runs in the first two games of the series, has keyed the Padres' 11-game winning streak in Pittsburgh, as he entered Sunday hitting .359 with five homers, five doubles and 17 RBIs in his career at PNC Park.
"It's one of those crazy things, you know there's some ballparks where you see the ball really well and you just get in situations where you are able to drive in runs," Headley stated. "Guys around me have been getting on base and giving me opportunities. It's nice when those times happen, but you just keep focusing on the game."