Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead, three-run homer for the San Diego Padres, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Thursday night and set the major league record by going 8,020 games without a no-hitter since their inception.
Franmil Reyes also homered, connecting off San Diegan Trevor Williams an inning before the Pirates starter left with discomfort in his right side.
Adam Frazier singled to left off lefty Eric Lauer with two outs in the third to extend the Padres’ streak of futility into record territory. The Padres remain the only major league team without a no-hitter. The previous longest streak of 8,019 games without a no-hitter from a franchise’s inception was by the New York Mets, who got their first no-hitter, by Johan Santana, on June 1, 2012.
The Padres have had pitchers take a no-no into the eighth inning or beyond several times since their expansion season of 1969 but have never completed one. Some fans feel the franchise is cursed because manger Preston Gomez lifted Clay Kirby after eight no-hit innings against the New York Mets on June 21, 1970.
Kinsler’s three-run shot off Richard Rodriguez (0-3) with two outs in the sixth gave the Padres a 4-2 lead and got them off the hook for some shoddy play. It was Kinsler’s fifth.
Gregory Polanco made it a one-run game with a homer to right in the seventh, his third.
Adam Warren (3-1) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the win, and Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 17th save.
Reyes homered into the Padres’ bullpen beyond the fence in left-center with one out in the third, his 13th.
The Pirates tied it in the fifth after the Padres gave them several extra chances. Rookie Kevin Newman, who played at Poway High, was doubled up on a popup to shallow right that ticked off Kinsler’s glove as the second baseman tried to make a basket catch while right fielder Reyes and first baseman Eric Hosmer also converged on the ball. Francisco Liriano, who relieved Williams, hit a dribbler down the third base line that went for an infield single when Lauer couldn’t make a play. Newman beat Lauer’s throw home on Adam Frazier’s soft chopper to the right of the mound. The play was upheld on replay.
After Frazier forced Liriano at third, the Padres should have had an inning-ending double play when Marte rounded second on Polanco’s fly to center. But Marte made it all the way back to first when Wil Myers’ throw to Hosmer was off-line.
Lauer got out of the mess by striking out Bell to end the inning.
The Pirates went ahead 2-1 on an unearned run in the sixth on two singles, an error and a wild pitch.
Williams, who played at Rancho Bernardo High, left with two outs in the fourth after striking out Myers. He allowed one run and two hits, struck out five and walked one.
Williams loaded the bases with one out in the first on a walk, single and hit batter before striking out Alex Dickerson, who also played at Poway High, and getting Myers to ground out.
THE NO NO-HITTER STREAK
Padres general partner Peter Seidler, a third-generation member of the O’Malley family that used to own the Dodgers, remembers seeing no-hitters by Sandy Koufax, Bill Singer and Fernando Valenzuela. He has yet to see one pitched by the team he bought in 2012.
“It’s kind of statistically remarkable,” Seidler said before the game. “I look at it now, every time we get to the fourth inning and haven’t given up a hit, it crosses my mind, like one of these days it’s going to happen. Beyond that, I just think it’s a statistical anomaly and I’m an optimist. Every time I show up here for the first pitch, they haven’t got a hit yet, so why not tonight?”
Seidler believes that the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter for the Padres “is born, he’s in our system and beyond that, your guess is as good as mine.”
Padres shortstop Manny Machado made a diving, rolling stop of Newman’s grounder in the third and threw out the rookie as he ended up on his backside.
Padres: Manager Andy Green said “it’d probably still be a little bit of a stretch” to expect rookie SS Fernando Tatis Jr., on the IL with a strained left hamstring, to return to the team before the end of this seven-game homestand. Green said Tatis, who was hurt on April 28, still isn’t running at 100%.
Pirates: RHP Jordan Lyles (3-1, 2.09 ERA), who pitched with San Diego for parts of the 2017 and 2018 seasons, is scheduled to start Friday night.
Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 4.57) held the Pirates to one hit in five innings in a 4-3 victory at Petco Park on June 30.