SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- The
' bullpen finally converted a save opportunity, but it was not easy.
The Pirates jumped out to a big lead on a grand slam by
and the bullpen flirted with disaster before preserving
's victory in an 8-5 win over the
San Diego Padres
Pittsburgh's bullpen recorded six saves in the first 10 games of the season but had been unsuccessful in four chances since April 11. It ended that skein in this one, despite allowing a run for the seventh time in eight games.
The Pirates used six relievers to hold the lead for Benson (3-3), who snapped a personal three-game losing streak after allowing four runs and eight hits in six innings.
"I've seen him better," Pittsburgh manager
said. "But we were able to score some runs for him tonight, something we haven't done in a while. Certainly, he has had better stuff in his previous starts than he did tonight."
Pittsburgh had a 7-4 lead when
took over for Benson to start the seventh. Beimel put runners on first and second before
escaped the jam.
Reyes uncorked two wild pitches to put runners on second and third but struck out
to end the inning.
's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning gave the Pirates an 8-5 lead and closer
started the bottom half. Williams allowed the tying run to come to the plate with two outs before retiring
to notch his sixth save.
"We kept coming back, we got the tying run to the plate a few times, we just couldn't get that one more hit," Bochy said. "When you get down seven, it's a tough way to come back."
hit a solo homer in the first inning and Hyzdu highlighted a five-run third with his third career grand slam on the first pitch from San Diego starter
"Perez was trying to get ahead of me and was struggling with his control a little bit," Hyzdu said. "Any pitcher will tell you that the best pitch is generally strike one. If I take that, it's strike one and he has got me where he wants me. Sometimes the hitter's swing is better than the pitcher's pitch and tonight, it worked out for me."
Perez was shelled for seven runs and seven hits in just three-plus innings - the shortest outing of his career.
"Unfortunately, they made some good contact with the ball," he said. "Sometimes when you're struggling, it's a matter of confidence. All you can do is try to find ways to be successful and move on from there."
"Tonight, he took a step backwards and was really all over the map throwing the ball," Bochy said. "I think it's more of a confidence thing than anything. But he's young, he's going to hit bumps in the road, and right now, he's hit a big one."
belted a three-run homer off Benson in the third to bring San Diego within 7-3. Rookie
added an RBI single in the sixth inning as the Padres narrowed the deficit to three.