Pirates are not taking Padres lightly

Pirates are not taking Padres lightly

PITTSBURGH -- Fans who think that the Pirates get to play three easy games against a struggling team in the middle of their 11-game homestand might be in for a rude surprise.

Don't be fooled by San Diego's 49-64 record. The Padres have won four straight games and five of their last six. They're 13-2 in their last 15 games against the Pirates, and have won nine straight contests at PNC Park.

"This is a club that's got a little traction," manager Clint Hurdle said before Friday's series opener. "They just finished a pretty good homestand. They've been known to pitch and play defense. They've got some guys in the lineup that can hurt you."

San Diego is scheduled to start three right-handers during the weekend series: Edinson Volquez on Friday, Jason Marquis on Saturday and Ross Ohlendorf on Sunday.

Two of the Padres' notable hitters are Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin, who on Friday hit third and fourth, respectively, in the lineup. Third baseman Headley is batting .276 with 15 homers and 62 RBIs, and right fielder Quentin is hitting .268 with 12 long balls and 31 RBIs.

"We don't take anybody for granted. We're not in a position to," Hurdle said. "That is a thought that never crosses anybody's mind, [that] when they come in this clubhouse, we've got a layup tonight, because you don't."