San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez both belted two-run homers for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the middle installment of a three-game set with the San Diego Padres, 4-1, on Tuesday at Petco Park.
Gerrit Cole (6-3) spun 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball for Pittsburgh, while four relievers didn't allow a hit over the final 3 1/3 frames. Jason Grilli struck out two in the ninth to nail down his ninth save of the season.
Cole allowed just the one run on four hits and a pair of walks while striking out six to win his third straight decision. The Pirates, who took the series opener 10-3 on Monday, have won three straight and five of six.
"When you look at the volume of work, he pitched well," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said of Cole, who reached 100 pitches before finishing the sixth inning. "Gave up one run, got us close to the sixth. All his pitches were in play. 12 batters saw five pitches or more, so that's probably what caught up to him more than anything."
Jesse Hahn (0-1) was roughed up for four runs on six hits in 3 2/3 frames in his major league debut.
"Jesse showed some flashes of future potential," said Padres manager Bud Black. "Good live fastball, good curveball. He threw the ball well."
Hahn tossed a 1-2-3 top of the first inning and struck out the side in the second around a Russell Martin single, but ran into trouble in the third.
Jordy Mercer, who was the lone player in the game to record two hits, singled to start the frame. Cole replaced him at first base after bunting into a fielder's choice and with two outs, Walker delivered the eventual game-winning two-run homer to center.
Martin walked to start the fourth inning and Alvarez made it 4-0, driving a 3-1 offering just over the wall in right field.
The four runs were more than enough for Cole and Pittsburgh's bullpen. Cole kept the Padres scoreless through five innings. Three straight singles by Chase Headley, Seth Smith and Yonder Alonso chased Cole from the contest and made it 4-1, but Jared Hughes induced a Jedd Gyorko groundout to end the inning.
Tony Watson took care of the seventh inning and Mark Melancon shut the door in the eighth to set the table for Grilli.