PITTSBURGH — A walk, of all things, might have been the key to the Pirates' 5-2 victory over the Padres on Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh completed its 10th series sweep of the season, which ties a club record.
Andrew Cashner was one out away from completing an eight-inning, two-hit gem. Then he walked Travis Ishikawa. Gregory Polanco, Andrew McCutchen and Jung Ho Kang followed with RBI singles to knock out Cashner.
"We had no one on base with two outs, it was big," manager Clint Hurdle said of Ishikawa's walk. "He has some experience in that area and got some good looks."
Ishikawa was acquired by the Pirates on waivers after San Francisco designated him for assignment last week.
The Pirates scored all three runs in the eighth with two outs as they finally wore down the opposing pitcher.
"Cashner was tough, but we kept showing up and battling," Hurdle said. "We did some gritty hitting."
Cashner allowed one hit in his first six innings for San Diego, but was gone in the eighth. Brandon Maurer allowed his inherited runners to score and Cashner (3-10) was charged for four runs in 7 2/3 innings.
"He had basically a two-hitter going into the eighth and we had a couple defensive plays that could've been made that led to that first run," San Diego manager Pat Murphy said. "I thought he had as good an outing as I've seen in a while."
Deolis Guerra (2-0) retired all six batters in the seventh and eighth for the win. Antonio Bastardo worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Matt Kemp sent his seventh home run of the year into center field for an early 1-0 San Diego lead. The Padres struck again in the second when Will Venable walked with one out and scored on Melvin Upton Jr.'s double off the center-field wall.
Pittsburgh cut its deficit in half in the home second. Jung Ho Kang doubled and scored on Pedro Alvarez's sacrifice fly to left. The throw home from Venable arrived in time, but was off-line.
After allowing two runs in the first two innings, Charlie Morton settled in and held the Padres to two runs and five hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out five.
"My off-speed pitches got some good contact," Morton said. "It was one of those nights when I was mixing my pitches well."
Cashner retired 15 Pirates in a row before Neil Walker doubled leading off the seventh. He advanced to third on Kang's fly out and tied the game when Francisco Cervelli grounded into a fielder's choice.
RIP TARP MAN
Grounds crew member Matt Gerhardt was swallowed by the tarp Tuesday night when a gust of wind swelled beneath the covering and enveloped him as he attempted to tamp it down. After McCutchen, Polanco and other Pirates personnel helped rescue Gerhardt and secure the tarp, Gerhardt's co-workers had some fun with him.
Before Wednesday's game they drew an outline of a body in the dirt near third base, the same location Gerhardt was caught in the tarp. Alongside the outline read "RIP TARP MAN" and "7.7.2015", the date of Tuesday's game.
Padres: San Diego is off Thursday, then finishes its 10-game road trip with a three-game series in Texas. RHP Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.84 ERA) matches up with Rangers LHP Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 4.23).
Pirates: Pittsburgh's 10-game homestand concludes with a four-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals, who lead the Pirates in the NL Central. LHP Jeff Locke (5-4, 4.15 ERA) pitches against St. Louis RHP Carlos Martinez (9-3, 2.70).
Padres: LF Justin Upton was scratched from the lineup Wednesday with soreness in his side.
Pirates: 3B Josh Harrison (thumb) underwent surgery on his left thumb to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament Wednesday and will miss seven weeks.