PITTSBURGH - Chase Headley's big night ensured the San Diego Padres found a way to win a game they almost let get away.
Headley’s career-high fifth hit drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and the Padres won their third straight over the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11-6, on Monday night.
Headley hit a line drive into the right-field corner off Jeff Karstens (3-5) for his third double of the game that drove in Everth Cabrera and led the Padres, who saw their bullpen blow a 6-2 lead in the eighth inning, win for the eighth time in 12 games.
“This would have been a tough one to lose,” said Headley, who went 5-for-6 with two runs and two RBI. “I give a lot of credit to the guys on the bench. Everybody came back into the dugout (after the Pirates tied it in the ninth) and kept a good attitude and kept fighting.”
Headley hit his 12th homer, and Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Hundley also hit home runs for San Diego, which has won 12 of its past 16 series.
Oscar Salazar added a two-run double, Hundley a sacrifice fly and Tony Gwynn a run-scoring single later in the 11th.
Salazar and Hundley both had three RBI and Wade LeBlanc turned in his fourth straight strong start for the Padres.
Sean Gallagher (2-0) earned the win with a scoreless 10th.
The Padres are 31-20 since July 28 — the third-best record in the National League over that time.
“Guys are starting to get their feet under them,” Headley said. “A lot of guys have only been up here for a couple months — I feel like I’m a veteran and I’ve only been here a year-and-a-half; that’s how many young guys we have — but we’ve got talented young guys, it’s not just young guys. We’ve got some ability on this team, and guys are starting to get some confidence. It’s been fun the last couple nights.”
Rookie Garrett Jones hit his 20th home run for last-place Pittsburgh, which has lost 20 of 23 and needs to go 7-7 the remainder of the season to avoid 100 losses.
The Pirates tied the game in the ninth on Ronny Cedeño’s groundout off Heath Bell, who failed to earn his league-leading 40th save by blowing his sixth opportunity of the season. He did get out of a bases-loaded, no-outs situation only allowing one run.