<
>

Wells picks up first win of the year in sweep

5/1/2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Something about San Diego sure agreed with Jack
Wilson, Kip Wells and the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wilson hit a three-run homer and Wells pitched into the eighth
inning for his first win this season as the Pirates beat the Padres
5-2 on Thursday for a three-game sweep.

The Pirates came into the series having scored just 11 runs in
five straight home losses, then outscored San Diego 20-9. Whatever
they lacked at home they were able to find on the start of a trip
that continues with series at Los Angeles and Houston.

"Clear your minds, get away from home, go out to the West
Coast," said Wilson, who grew up just north of Los Angeles. "A
lot of us live here, there's a lot of stuff to do, and just have
fun."

Wilson, in his second full season as the Pirates' shortstop, hit
in the No. 2 spot for the seventh straight time and extended his
recent success. He keyed a three-run first inning Tuesday night,
then homered in consecutive games for the first time in his career.
He's hit safely in 12 of his last 13 games.

"He's come up big for us," manager Lloyd McClendon said.
"He's done a super job. He's in a little stretch where he's really
sparked us.

"If he keeps going like this, he'll be the MVP of the league,"
McClendon joked.

"Not with a 1-for-5, 1-for-5," Wilson said, reciting his line
for the last two games. "I guess I'm a home run hitter now because
I strike out three times after I hit one."

Wilson connected off Jake Peavy (4-2) with two outs in the
second inning, driving a 1-1 pitch into the seats in left field to
break a 1-1 tie.

McClendon thought Wilson homered on a slider, but the shortstop
said it was a changeup.

"If he'd have thrown a slider, I probably would have done what
I did with all the rest of them -- swing and miss. He's got good
stuff. It just kind of floated out of his hand, I saw it real good
and I just threw the head out there."

Said Peavy: "I don't know what I was trying to do. It was a bad
pitch in a bad place."

Wells (1-1) won for the first time in six starts. He was chased
on his 105th pitch, allowing Mark Loretta's pinch-hit home run
leading off the eighth.

Wells, coming off three straight no-decisions, allowed two runs
and four hits, struck out eight and walked five. He pitched into
the ninth inning in his previous start, but the Pirates lost 5-2 to
Los Angeles.

McClendon said Wells pitched better in his previous four starts.

"That's the life of a starter, and why you can't base all your
outings on wins and losses," Wells said.

"I was trying to throw a lot of strikes and have quick innings,
but at the same time I felt I was too vague in where I was trying
to throw the ball. Mechanically, I was a little bit out of whack
early on, but fortunately I got it under control and had some
better innings as the game went on."

Mike Williams worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save in
eight chances.

Peavy struck out nine in seven innings. He took a 1-0 lead into
the second but quickly lost it when Rob Mackowiak doubled with one
out and scored on Abraham Nunez's single. With two outs, Kenny
Lofton walked ahead of Wilson's homer.

Jason Kendall added an RBI single in the ninth for Pittsburgh.
The Pirates got three walks, four stolen bases and a wild pitch in
the inning, but scored only one run.

San Diego's Ramon Vazquez doubled leading off the first and
scored on Ryan Klesko's one-out single.

Peavy allowed four runs on seven hits. He walked one.

Padres right fielder Shane Victorino had a scary moment when he
stumbled over the bullpen mound going after Pokey Reese's long foul
ball in the ninth and plowed into the base of the seats with his
shoulder. After laying motionless for a few minutes, Victorino got
up and stayed in the game.

"It's a deep bruise, like a rug burn," Victorino said.
"Hopefully, nothing more than that."

Game notes
Pirates hitting coach Gerald Perry was ejected for arguing
with umpires after Aramis Ramirez struck out to end the first
inning. Perry came onto the field after Ramirez fanned on a checked
swing and had to be pushed away from first base umpire Bill Welke.
... The Padres optioned struggling LHP Oliver Perez to Triple-A
Portland, less than 24 hours after he lasted just three innings
against Pittsburgh. The 21-year-old Perez (1-3, 8.23 ERA) was
replaced on the roster by left-hander Mike Bynum. It was the fifth
time in six starts that Perez failed to pitch past the fifth
inning.

Comments