PITTSBURGH (AP) — The San Diego Padres scored a run against Pittsburgh's Vance Worley in the first inning, and the Pirates' starter noticed they were ready to hit his fastball.
So he threw more cutters.
Worley's change in plans helped him outduel Ian Kennedy, and Gregory Polanco and Josh Harrison had three hits each as the Pirates beat the Padres 2-1 on Friday night.
"I was just making adjustments," Worley said. "I thought they were sitting more on my fastballs in to lefties and away from righties so I decided to show them a little something different and keep them off-balance."
Worley (5-1) struck out a season-high seven in seven innings and gave up one run, five hits and a walk.
"I think he was able to settle into his rhythm toward the end of the second," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "His cutter played extremely well."
With the usage of his cutter, Worley was able to finish with a flourish by striking out the side in the seventh.
"By the end of my outing I was able to have (the fastball) back again because they were too busy thinking about the other stuff," he said.
Kennedy (8-10) was pulled after six innings and allowed two runs — one earned — and seven hits. He walked three and struck out five.
Tony Watson preserved the one-run lead with a perfect eighth, and Mark Melancon earned his career-high 21st save by striking out the side in the ninth.
San Diego scored in the first on Everth Cabrera's leadoff double, a sacrifice, and Seth Smith's sacrifice fly.
Pittsburgh scored twice in the bottom of the inning. Harrison led off with a triple and scored on Polanco's single. Polanco later scored on Russell Martin's sacrifice fly.
Pittsburgh loaded the bases with no outs in the third, and San Diego did the same in the sixth.
"We just couldn't get the big hit," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We had some opportunities but couldn't drive in the big run. We stressed Worley a couple of times but we couldn't break through."
The Pirates (62-53) moved a season-high nine games over .500, despite the recent absence of team leaders Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker.
"We're all here to step up," Worley said. "It's a team game, and if one guy goes down, it's up to somebody else to come in and step up."
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