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Spangenberg, Wood combine to sink Pirates

July 28, 2017

SAN DIEGO -- Cory Spangenberg made a winner of Travis Wood in the left-hander's Padres debut, tying the game with a sixth-inning triple before scoring the eventual winning run on a passed ball in San Diego's 3-2 victory over the Pirates on Friday at Petco Park.Jose Pirela's one-out single ended

SAN DIEGO -- Cory Spangenberg made a winner of Travis Wood in the left-hander's Padres debut, tying the game with a sixth-inning triple before scoring the eventual winning run on a passed ball in San Diego's 3-2 victory over the Pirates on Friday at Petco Park.
Jose Pirela's one-out single ended Pirates starter Chad Kuhl's night after he allowed nine baserunners in 5 1/3 innings. Spangenberg then ripped Daniel Hudson's first pitch, a 98 mph fastball, into right field, reaching base for the third time in the contest as Pirela scored the tying run. After Hudson struck out Jabari Blash, his full-count pitch to Allen Cordoba bounced away, allowing Spangenberg, who's slashing .346/.433/.615 in the second half, to score.
"Just trying to help the team out in any way possible, and got a pitch I can hit and tried not to do too much with it," Spangenberg said. "I take a lot of pride in my work -- offense, defense, baserunning, everything -- so that's what I expect myself and it's just been what's going on this year."

Said manager Andy Green: "He's worked incredibly hard this season. … Shows up every day trying to learn something, trying to get better working on something, working on his defense at third base. I think that starts to pay off, and it's fun to see for a good person like that."
Wood, acquired Monday in a trade with the Royals, retired the final 10 Pirates he faced after allowing Andrew McCutchen's two-run home run in the third. He earned his first win as a starter since April 28, 2015, also against Pittsburgh, by allowing only two hits across six innings with seven strikeouts.
Wood does it all in Padres debut
"It was the opposite of what we talked about. We were trying to get them in swing mode. They got us in swing mode," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "They executed their pitching plan pretty well, stayed out of the middle [of the strike zone]. Kept us off the barrel, that's for sure."
Wood, in his return to the National League, also drove in San Diego's first run with a single in the fourth.
"I love hitting, so it was really nice for me," said Wood, who has nine career home runs. "Being able to get a hit there was clutch."

Before McCutchen singled off All-Star and trade candidate Brad Hand in the ninth, the Pirates had been hitless since his third-inning homer. Hand managed to still earn his third save in as many nights as the Pirates fell to 4 1/2 games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs, suffering their fifth loss in six games after a streak in which they won 12 of 14.
Pirates struggle to regain momentum
Cutch crushes: Needing two RBIs to become the 13th Pirate with 700 career RBIs, McCutchen delivered against Wood. After Wood hit Josh Harrison with two outs in the third, McCutchen sent a 2-0 cutter a Statcast-projected 405 feet out to left to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead. It was his 19th home run of the season. McCutchen singled in the ninth to match another Pirates feat. The hit off Hand was the 1,409th of McCutchen's career, tying him with Jason Kendall for 16th on the club's all-time list.
Rookie mistake: When Wood dribbled a bases-loaded single through the left side with two outs in the fourth, Petco Park erupted, but the fans' cheers soon turned to groans. Spangenberg scored on the play, but Blash held at third. Cordoba aggressively rounded second and headed toward third on Wood's single, leaving him between bases as the Pirates tagged him out to end the inning and retain their one-run lead. Manuel Margot, who entered Friday with a six-game hitting streak, was left on deck.
"It's an aggressive mistake, you've got to run with your head up," Green said. "You've to see what's happening in front of you. He's very much aware of that at this point in time. … You hope he learns from it and moves on. It's out of effort and desire that a young kid's making a mistake on the field."
The Padres improved to 13-10 in July, clinching their first winning month in two years. They went 13-11 in July 2015.
"I think we've been playing really good baseball. After the first couple months, we were very competitive. The young guys are really stepping up. I think they're learning, and I think we're making huge strides. With this Trade Deadline, people are going, but I think we have a great core here and I think we're only going to improve." -- Spangenberg, on July being the Padres' first winning month since 2015
"It's a big league lineup. They don't really show it in the standings, but they still have a good lineup. You've got to manage your way through it. They beat us today."-- Hudson, on the Padres' offensive surge in the second half
Hand likely won't pitch for the Padres in the series' second game Saturday, regardless of whether he's traded from the team.
Green has deployed Hand, who threw his 19th straight scoreless appearance Friday, in three straight games, in each of which Hand converted a save opportunity. During his scoreless streak, Hand has struck out 24 in 19 1/3 innings while lowering his ERA to 2.00.
Green said Hand will "probably not" pitch Saturday, but it's likely Hand will try to lobby his way into the game.
"He walked right off the mound and was shaking his hand afterwards and he said, 'I'm up tomorrow, right?'" Green said. "Gives you an idea of how he feels about it. Really wants to pitch every single day. Probably in our best interest and his best interest to let him breathe for the day at this point."

Pirates:Ivan Nova will start for the Pirates as they continue their three-game series against the Padres at 8:40 p.m. ET on Saturday. Nova allowed a season-high seven runs in five innings Sunday at Coors Field, just the second time in 20 starts this season he did not complete six innings. He'll look to turn it around at Petco Park, where he has allowed just one run over 12 1/3 innings in two career starts.
Padres:Dinelson Lamet takes the mound at 5:40 p.m. PT for the second game of San Diego's series against the Pirates. After consecutive rough outings, the rookie right-hander fired 6 2/3 innings in San Francisco, holding the Giants to two runs.
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Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Nathan Ruiz is a reporter for based in San Diego.**.