Wil Myers helped give the San Diego Padres an early lead and closer Brad Hand barely held onto it.
Myers homered Josh Allen Jersey , doubled and drove in three runs, and rookie Joey Lucchesi threw five scoreless innings to lead San Diego to a 4-3 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.
The Padres had to hang on after Hand got himself into trouble in the ninth and then got out of it to earn his 23rd save, thanks to some help from right fielder Hunter Renfroe.
Hand gave up two quick runs on doubles by Elias Diaz and Austin Meadows, and a triple by Gregory Polanco. The reliever got Jordy Mercer to fly out to Renfroe in shallow right field. Renfroe then caught pinch-hitter Jose Osuna’s foul ball near the seats and made a strong throw to hold Polanco at third. Hand struck out Starling Marte to end it.
”I don’t think he lacks for confidence,” Padres manager Andy Green said of Hand, San Diego’s only All-Star last year. ”He’s got those situations where he’s just got to finish his pitches better than he did tonight. He doesn’t rattle. You’ve got one of the faster runners in the game on third base with nobody out and a one-run game, and there’s not many pitchers that are getting out of that. He managed to get out of that.”
Said Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle: ”It’s a life of a closer. If you look at the numbers against him all year, he’s tough to hit. He’s been very successful. … I thought some breaking balls got left over the plate.”
Myers, limited to 19 games this season due to injuries, homered to right off Trevor Williams (6-6) with one out in the third, his second. Myers then chased the San Diegan with a two-run double to left to give the Padres a 4-0 lead with two outs in the fifth.
Myers returned June 21 after missing 47 games with a strained muscle in his side.
”He’s getting closer and closer and is looking more like himself,” Green said.
The manager was impressed with Myers using all fields.
”I feel good,” Myers said. ”It’s just one of those things where you constantly work on your approach.”
San Diego won for just the third time in 13 games.
Williams, a 2010 graduate of Rancho Bernardo High, was trying to become the second straight local product to beat his hometown Padres. On Friday night, Joe Musgrove Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , a 2011 graduate of Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, threw seven scoreless innings in a 6-3 victory.
But Williams gave up four runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings, with four strikeouts and two walks. He also allowed an RBI grounder by Freddy Galvis in the second that brought in Christian Villanueva, who doubled and advanced on Jose Pirela’s single.
Williams walked Austin Hedges and pinch-hitter Matt Szczur with one out in the fifth. They advanced on Travis Jankowski’s sacrifice bunt ahead of Myers’ big double.
”I kind of lost my fastball command in that fifth inning, and I had to rely on my off-speed pitches,” Williams said. ”I kind of put myself in bad situations. Two walks in a row are tough. You can’t really defend walks. Wil Myers is a good hitter and he guessed right on a heater up, and did well.”
Lucchesi (4-3) won for the first time since April 28. He was making his third start since missing five weeks with a strained right hip. The left-hander allowed one hit while striking out five and walking four.
San Diego’s Matt Strahm yielded a run and two hits in the sixth.
Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (5-6, 3.96 ERA) is 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA in two career starts against San Diego.
Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (5-5, 3.32) is scheduled for the Padres, who have won seven of his last nine starts.
Todd Haley’s contract as the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers is up.
And coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t sound as if he’s in a rush to decide whether Haley will be back next season.
Tomlin sidestepped several attempts to endorse Haley’s return on Tuesday as the AFC North champions continued to dissect what went wrong in an upset home playoff loss to Jacksonville . Asked if he anticipated any changes to his staff, Tomlin demurred.
”I don’t know where these roads are going to lead,” Tomlin said. ”Some contracts are up. Some aren’t. I’m not ready to discuss that.”
Haley just finished his sixth season with the Steelers and has helped design one of the NFL’s most dynamic offenses.
Led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell and All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (13-3) has finished in the top three in total yards in three of the past four years.
Though Haley and Roethlisberger have found a level of detente following a somewhat bumpy start to their relationship, Haley’s occasionally fiery approach has made him a touchstone when things don’t go well.
While the Steelers piled up more than 500 yards against the NFL’s top-ranked defense on Sunday, they also made a couple of curious play calls on fourth down that halted their momentum.
Bell was stuffed for a loss on a toss play when Pittsburgh needed just 1 yard in the first quarter and Roethlisberger threw incomplete to rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down in the fourth quarter when advancing the ball a matter of inches would have extended the drive.
The Steelers Tre'Davious White Jersey , however, have gone away from using the quarterback sneak in recent years to help Roethlisberger avoid the contact.
Tomlin brushed off the notion that the sneak is no longer a part of the playbook, saying ”to suggest there’s a resistance to it in concept, I’m not ready to say that.”
Tomlin also isn’t ready to say much about his staff.
Offensive line coach Mike Munchak has interviewed for the open head coaching job in Arizona and wide receivers coach Richard Mann is retiring.
Hines Ward, a two-time Super Bowl winner who is also the leading receiver in franchise history, spent time with the team during the season as a volunteer assistant, though Tomlin declined to get into any specifics about any sort of future role for Ward or anybody else for that matter.
”I’m not going to have a lot of definitive answers (right now),” Tomlin said. ”I don’t want to provide you misinformation.”
Tomlin called his 11th season a ”wild and challenging and fun ride.”
One with more than its fair share of bumps created from within.
From the ”botched” decision to stay out of sight during the national anthem in Chicago in September to wide receiver Martavis Bryant’s trade demand to Tomlin openly talking about having to face New England twice – hinting he expected the Steelers to face the Patriots in the AFC championship game more than a month before it would become a reality – hardly a week passed with the attention focused somewhere other than the field.
”We realize oftentimes it may create a storm around us, but that’s not us,” Tomlin said. ”We don’t care. We can’t care. We can’t control it anyway.”
Outside of linebacker Ryan Shazier’s life-altering spinal injury, the Steelers created most of the noise that surrounded them.
While Tomlin said it’s on him to help his players learn to use the attention directed at them and their own social media agendas ”for good” he’s also aware that none of it matters so long as his team wins.
For a franchise where success is only measured in Lombardi Trophies, 2017 ended in disappointment, one the Steelers will have a longer than expected offseason to process.
”It ended the way it ended and looking back at it, there’s nothing we can do about that other than learn from the experience,” Tomlin said. ”Hopefully that strengthens us for our next journey.”
One the Steelers are starting earlier than expected.