Rookie right-hander Brad Lincoln had another rocky outing Sunday, as the San Diego Padres batted around in the third inning en route to a 6-3 victory.
The Padres, whose 58-39 record in the best in the National League, completed a three-game series sweep. The Pirates have never won a series against San Diego at PNC Park.
Ronny Cedeno’s two-run homer in the second inning off Wade LeBlanc (5-8) gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
The Padres countered with five runs in the third. Chris Denorfia had a two-run double and Adrian Gonzalez smacked a two-run homer over the Clemente Wall.
Lincoln (1-4) worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed six runs on eight hits, which inflated his ERA to 6.57. He walked two and struck out three.
In his previous outing, Lincoln got just seven outs and nearly blew a 9-0 first-inning lead.
Lincoln has made nine starts since being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. He’s been knocked around in all but one, a 2-0 victory June 30 against the Chicago Cubs.
Before today’s game, general manager Neal Huntington downplayed the possibility of Lincoln being sent back to the minors.
“With any young player, as long as we feel like they’re making progress and they’re capable of competing, they’ll continue to play at the major league level,” Huntington said. “When we feel it’s better for their development to replace them, we’ll make the move. It’s a big-picture viewpoint of growth, development and helping the major league team win vs. just do or die.”
And in Lincoln’s case?
“We are seeing good signs,” Huntington said. “We need to continue to see it.”