Monday, August 13, 2012

Pirates rally for much-needed win - Daily American Online

Padres-Pirates

Andrew McCutchen drove in two runs against the Padres on Sunday. (AP photo / August 12, 2012)

PITTSBURGH (AP) â€" At the end of his memorable day, second baseman Neil Walker was much more interested in talking about his double-play partner.

Shortstop Clint Barmes’ first career grand slam keyed a nine-run fourth inning and Walker went 5 for 5 as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied past the San Diego Padres 11-5 on Sunday.

“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Walker said. “He’s helped me a lot and he has helped this team a lot by playing great defense. It was good to see him come up with the big hit.”

Walker homered and doubled as the Pirates overcame an early 5-0 deficit and ended San Diego’s six-game winning streak. The Padres had won 11 in a row at Pittsburgh dating to 2009.

Andrew McCutchen and Michael McKenry each drove in two runs during the big inning against Ross Ohlendrorf (4-3) and Cory Burns. Barmes, a 10-year veteran, has 88 career home runs.

“It was the biggest home run of my career,” Barmes said. “I’ve never hit a grand slam before and it came in a big situation when we needed something big to happen. If felt good, really good. I was excited.”

Walker had the third five-hit game of his career and second this season, the other coming July 8 against San Francisco.

However, Walker was much happier for Barmes, who has struggled offensively all season after signing a $10.5-million, two-year contract in the offseason as a free agent. He is hitting just .217 after going 2 for 5.

Barmes hadn’t committed an error in 34 straight games until making two in the first four innings before redeeming himself with the grand slam.

Pittsburgh stopped a three-game skid. On Friday night, San Diego rallied from six runs down for a 9-8 victory over the Pirates.

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