SAN DIEGO- Francisco Liriano allowed just one hit in five innings - Everth Cabrera's bunt single in the first - and lost.
"It was a weird game," Liriano said after the Pittsburgh Pirates lost 3-2 to the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night. "Too many walks, getting behind in the count too much and not executing pitches. I tried to eliminate walks and keep us in the game."
He didn't quite succeed.
AP Photo/Pittsburgh starting pitcher Francisco Liriano adjusts his cap as he pitches to a San Diego batter during the first inning Wednesday in San Diego.
Liriano (1-6) walked six and struck out seven. He walked the bases loaded in the fourth inning and then walked Chris Denorfia to give the Padres a 3-1 lead.
Three Pirates pitchers issued nine walks, two intentional, and hit one batter. The Padres struck out 10 times. San Diego has only 12 hits in its last four games.
"I was just having trouble throwing strikes on any pitch," Liriano said. "I don't know, it was a weird day for me. I didn't have any rhythm. I missed my spots a lot."
The Padres played ultimate small-ball, scoring on a sacrifice fly, an error and a bases-loaded walk to avoid a three-game sweep. Rene Rivera's fly to Andrew McCutcheon to end the eighth was the only ball fielded by a Pirates outfielder. Carlos Quentin hit a sacrifice fly in the first, but it was caught in short right by second baseman Josh Harrison.
Ian Kennedy (5-6) won his third straight start, striking out seven and allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. He walked one. Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 18th save in as many chances.
San Diego took a 2-0 lead in the first. Denorfia drew a leadoff walk, stole second and took third when Cabrera beat out a bunt for a single. Quentin hit the sacrifice caught by Harrison. His throw home was well up the third-base line. After Chase Headley was hit by a pitch, Cabrera scored on Harrison's throwing error on Tommy Medica's grounder.
"I didn't think it was just a case of him wrestling with his delivery," manager Clint Hurdle said of Liriano. "If he doesn't make the pitches he does, it could have gotten out of hand. He kept it in hand. Three of the five innings he led off with walks pitching out of the windup. We can't put a finger on it."
Pittsburgh pulled to 2-1 on Andrew McCutcheon's homer to left leading off the fourth, his sixth.
The Pirates added another run in the fifth when Harrison doubled in Jordy Mercer, who was aboard on a leadoff single.
Notes: Padres RHP Andrew Cashner threw a bullpen session and could start Saturday night against Washington if he doesn't have a setback. He's been on the disabled list with soreness in his right elbow since May 15. ... The Padres recalled INF Jace Peterson from Triple-A El Paso and optioned RHP Jesse Hahn to Double-A San Antonio. Peterson, in his second stint with the Padres, started at second base in place of Jedd Gyorko, who's hitting only .162. ... Peterson hit .174 in 10 games, including seven starts, in his first stint with the Padres. ... Hahn lasted 2 2-3 innings in his major league debut in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. ... San Diego is off Thursday and will open a three-game series against Washington on Friday, when the scheduled starters are Tanner Roark (3-4, 3.25) for the Nationals and Tyson Ross (6-4, 2.85) for the Padres. ... Pittsburgh also is off Thursday and returns home to open a series against Milwaukee on Friday, when the scheduled starters are Kyle Lohse (7-1, 2.60) for the Brewers and Brandon Cumpton (0-2, 6.85) for the Pirates.
Giants 3, Reds 2
CINCINNATI (AP) - Michael Morse and Juan Perez homered with two outs in the sixth inning on Wednesday night, rallying the San Francisco Giants to a 3-2 victory that ended the Cincinnati Reds' longest winning streak of the season at four games.
San Francisco won for the 10th time in 13 games, improving the best record in the majors to 38-21.
Morse hit a solo shot and Perez had a two-run homer off left-hander Tony Cingrani (2-6), who has lost all of his four starts since returning from shoulder tendinitis.
Ryan Vogelsong (4-2) extended his recent streak of solid pitching by giving up two runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings while fanning a career-high nine. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in last four starts.
Athletics 7, Yankees 4
NEW YORK (AP) - Yoenis Cespedes homered twice, Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning and the Oakland Athletics overcame a four-run deficit to beat the skidding New York Yankees 7-4 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Donaldson connected off Jose Ramirez, who was making his major league debut, and added a pair of infield singles. Cespedes also had three hits to help the A's move a season-best 15 games over .500 at 37-22, the best mark in the American League.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including a three-run homer, but the Yankees matched a season worst with their fourth consecutive defeat. They've been outscored 21-0 from the seventh inning on during the slide.
An error by Derek Jeter hurt New York, which dropped to 1-5 on a seven-game homestand.
Angels 4, Astros 0
HOUSTON (AP) - Garrett Richards stuck out nine to match his career best over eight excellent innings and helped the Los Angeles Angels snap a season-long four-game skid with a 4-0 win over Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
Richards (5-2) bounced back from a terrible outing in his last start when he allowed five runs while getting only two outs. It was the shortest non-injury-related start of his career.
Joe Smith struck out one in a hitless ninth to complete the four-hitter for the Angels.
Erick Aybar had two doubles and an RBI and David Freese doubled and drove in a run for the Angels.
Houston starter Jarred Cosart (4-5) allowed eight hits and three runs and tied a career-high with eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings.
Blue Jays 8, Tigers 2
DETROIT (AP) - Adam Lind doubled twice to drive in three runs and Melky Cabrera added a homer and three hits, lifting the Toronto Blue Jays to an 8-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
Lind's two-run double off Rick Porcello (8-3) in the sixth put Toronto ahead 3-2, and Aaron Loup got out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the bottom of the inning in relief of R.A. Dickey (6-4).
The AL East-leading Blue Jays added three runs in the eighth and two in the ninth in winning for the 18th time in 22 games.
Miguel Cabrera and Ian Kinsler homered for Detroit, but Kinsler also left the bases loaded twice. The AL Central-leading Tigers left 11 runners on base in their fourth straight loss. Detroit has dropped 12 of 16.
Jose Bautista also had three hits for Toronto, including a two-run double in the ninth.
Twins 6, Brewers 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Oswaldo Arcia drove in four runs, including the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, to push the Minnesota Twins past Milwaukee 6-4 on Wednesday night for their seventh win in the last eight meetings with the Brewers.
Arcia hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, going deep for the third time in 10 games since his recall from Triple-A, and Josh Willingham forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning before setting up Arcia's go-ahead single with a two-out double.
Aramis Ramirez returned from the disabled list after missing 21 games with a strained left hamstring to wallop a three-run homer that tied the game at 4 in the seventh, following leadoff singles by Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez.
Ricky Nolasco (4-5), who retired 13 straight batters until that point, recovered to finish the inning and pick up the victory when the Twins rallied again in the bottom of the frame.
Marlins 5, Rays 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Donovan Solano hit a three-run homer off David Price to help Miami extend Tampa Bay's longest losing streak in nearly five years to nine games. It is the second-longest losing streak in the major leagues this season.
Casey McGehee had an RBI single for the Marlins, who won the first two games of a four-game home-and-home series in Miami, including Tuesday's 1-0 win on a bases-loaded walk.
The sputtering Rays, coming off an 0-8 trip that was the worst in team history, tumbled 14 games under .500 at 23-37 - the second-worst record in baseball. The last time they were this far below the break-even point was the end of 2007, the final season they were called the Devil Rays.
Mariners 2, Braves 0
ATLANTA (AP) - Hisashi Iwakuma combined with two relievers on a six-hit shutout and streaking Seattle completed a two-game sweep.
Cole Gillespie and Kyle Seager hit run-scoring singles. Seattle has won five straight, matching its longest winning streak of the season.
Iwakuma (4-2) gave up only six hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. The right-hander was sharp, throwing 71 of his 96 pitches for strikes.
Mike Minor (2-4) allowed only one run in seven innings, but the Braves fell to 0-6 in interleague games.
Yoervis Medina pitched a perfect eighth before Fernando Rodney earned his 16th save with three straight outs in the ninth.