Pirates win over Padres, lose Wilson to disabled list
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SAN DIEGO -- Zach Duke and the Pirates proved for last night that they could win without the ailing Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth and Jack Wilson in a 10-1 clobbering of the Padres, but they're going to have to try to keep this up awhile.
For this morning manager John Russell announced that the Pirates have placed Wilson on the 15-day disabled list and have recalled shortstop Brian Bixler from Class AAA Indianapolis. Bixler is expected to report to Petco Park in time for this afternoon's contest.
"It got to where it's hurting us as a team," Wilson said of the swollen, painful and sprained middle finger on his left, catching hand, an injury that scratched him from April 18-19 games and then again last night shortly before gametime. "[Let's] kick it early instead of letting it linger. Take a couple of weeks off."
Given the absences of their most veteran player plus their Nos. 3 and 4 hitters in McLouth (strained right oblique muscle) and Doumit (wrist surgery; on DL), it nonetheless didn't matter for these Pirates -- for one night, anyway.
• Game: Pirates vs. San Diego Padres, 4:05 p.m., Petco Park.
• TV, radio: FSN Pittsburgh, WPGB-FM (104.7).
• Pitching: RHP Ross Ohlendorf (1-2, 3.00) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (2-2, 5.13).
• Key matchup: Everyone with a bat vs. Peavy, who is 5-1 against the Pirates, with a 1.85 ERA, a .207 opponents' average and a superb ratio of 67 strikeouts to nine walks.
• Of note: Ohlendorf has pitched nine consecutive scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk in that span.
Particularly with Zach Duke back in form atop the mound.
Duke pitched a shutout through five innings and a four-hitter through eight while this shaken-and-stirred lineup contrived RBIs from six different players -- including one from the starting pitcher and three from Craig Monroe -- as the Pirates creamed the Padres, 10-1, before 41,665 at Petco Park.
Duke (3-1) thus won his third game in four starts, yet another sign that he may well be approximating the vexing left-hander whom dazzled Pirates fans and confounded opponents in an 8-2 finish to 2005.
He rebounded sturdily from a six-run, 12-hit outing in his last start, an 11-1 clubbing April 19 at home by Atlanta.
"I was able to locate the ball better," said Duke.
"It all starts with the guy on the mound," Russell said. "It gave us a chance to get our guys going."
Duke exited with one out and two Padres aboard via singles to start the ninth. Newly recalled Evan Meek, supplanting a Craig Hansen placed on the 15-day disabled list due to shoulder and neck problems, polished off the Pirates' fourth triumph in five games without yielding another run.
"Playing in the American League, you don't really get a chance to see them," said Monroe, who went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .304. "To see him and [Paul] Maholm both the last few times, they're really good. You don't want to speak too soon 'cause it's really early. But if they can keep doing what they're doing, you got to like this team's chance to win some games."
The juggled Pirates lineup -- with Ramon Vazquez replacing Wilson and then flip-flopping spots in the order with Doumit's replacement, catcher Jason Jaramillo, plus Monroe in left field, Nyjer Morgan in center for McLouth and Eric Hinske in right -- produced runs early and often for Duke.
The Pirates are 4-1 without Doumit and, after an 11-inning loss to the Padres Friday shortly after McLouth got hurt, 1-1 without both Doumit and McLouth. They also returned to three games above .500 after winning for the fourth time in five games. Doumit is expected to miss seven to nine more weeks, and McLouth may well sit out games Sunday and Monday as Russell deemed him "a little better" yesterday but needing time to fully heal.
"We have a great team to where we can fill those holes," Wilson said of an order that conjured 14 hits and still stranded nine baserunners. "Obviously, Nate and Doumit, those are our 3 and 4 hitters. To have a team that can [temporarily lose its] big guns and still be productive ... that says a lot about the depth of your club."
First Published April 26, 2009 12:45 am