Wells allowed four hits in 8 1-3 innings for his first victory
since July 5, and the Pirates beat the Padres 3-1 Saturday night to
snap a five-game losing streak.
The right-hander, 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in five career starts
versus San Diego, had five strikeouts and walked two in his first
appearance this season against the Padres.
"When you've had success against a team, you always have an
opportunity to do well again against them because you can recall
good things that you did," Wells said. "So it's having a positive
frame of mind going into a game like this."
Wells (5-6) gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth inning to fall
two outs short of his first complete game since Sept. 7, 2003. He
earned just his second victory in 14 starts and broke a five-game
winless streak in which he went 0-1 with four no-decisions.
"It was a dominating performance," Pirates manager Lloyd
McClendon said. "The key was his command of the fastball, but he
also had all the other stuff he needed."
Jose Mesa finished for his 31st save in 33 chances.
"Kip stepped up and did a great job," said Pirates shortstop
Jack Wilson, who went 2-for-5 with a double. "It's nice to get a
win for him and get one for us."
San Diego lost for the fifth time in six games, all at home.
David Wells (6-7) allowed two runs and 10 hits in seven innings.
He struck out six and walked three. It was the first time in five
starts that the 41-year-old left-hander worked past six innings,
with each of those outings coming after the All-Star break. He was
2-1 in his previous four starts despite allowing 14 earned runs in
22 1-3 innings.
"It's huge (getting ahead early)," Kip Wells said. "To get
runs, period, is a good thing. Obviously, the earlier, the better.
You hate to sit back after the fact, but at the same time, you have
to give (David Wells) credit."
Kip and David Wells were teammates with the Chicago White Sox in
2001 and they matched each other on Saturday night.
"Kip was outstanding. He had us off stride pretty much the
whole game," David Wells said. "He's a good pitcher. When we were
teammates, he was very promising."
Craig Wilson doubled to lead off the eighth and scored when
first baseman Phil Nevin threw home too late after fielding Rob
Mackowiak's grounder. That gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead and ended
reliever Blaine Neal's shutout streak at 16 1-3 innings.
The Padres got within 2-1 in the fifth when with one out Sean
Burroughs hit a bases-loaded grounder to Jose Castillo. The second
baseman threw wide of second for his second error of the game after
going 30 contests without one. The bases remained loaded, but the
threat ended when Mark Loretta bounced into a double play.
"Wells had everything working," Padres manager Bruce Bochy
said of the Pirates' starter. "When you know you aren't going to
get a lot of opportunities, you have to cash in when you do. But we
came up a little bit short."
Pittsburgh has turned a major league-high 129 double plays this
Kip Wells went 2-for-4 and had one of Pittsburgh's five doubles.
The Pirates finished with 12 hits.
"They had a couple of bloopers in the first and then one up the
gap," David Wells said. "That's a tough way to lose, but it's
part of the game. You've got to keep plugging away."
This game was the first in major league history to match
starting pitchers each with the last name of Wells. ... The Pirates
have hit just one home run in 53 innings after failing to connect
Saturday. ... Castillo bobbled a ball in the third inning to end
his errorless streak. ... David Wells drew scattered boos from the
home crowd when he ran slowly down the line after hitting a
grounder in the third. ... Pittsburgh manager Lloyd McClendon
argued two calls that went against the Pirates on the base paths.