SAN DIEGO - It all proved to be better than expected for rookie Andrew Werner.
The left-hander could barely believe the news two days ago that the San Diego Padres were calling him up to the majors. But Werner made the most of his opportunity.
Werner allowed two runs over six-plus innings in his major league debut and Carlos Quentin drove in three runs, leading the Padres to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.
The Associated Press
San Diego’s Everth Cabrera, left, is congratulated after scoring in the first inning against Pittsburgh Wednesday in San Diego.
"If you have told me two years ago, I would be facing Andrew McCutchen in a big league game, I would have told you that you were crazy," Werner said.
But he struck out McCutchen, the NL batting leader, to end the first inning and handled the rest of the Pirates with ease as San Diego swept the three-game series.
"He was hitting his spots, which makes most pitchers effective," McCutchen said. "He kept the ball down. He could get hurt if he leaves stuff up, but he didn't do that."
The Padres have beaten Pittsburgh in 18 of 21 games.
"You just don't want to get boat raced in your first inning," Werner said. "It was just nice getting through the first one and getting back in the dugout."
Quentin had three RBIs for the second straight game, including a two-run double in the first inning and an RBI single in the fifth.
The 25-year-old Werner, who was called up from Triple-A Tucson earlier in the day, allowed four hits, walked four and struck out two.
"It was a lot of fun because he executed," catcher John Baker said. "We talked before the game about his emotions and I told him if he felt any butterflies to step off the mound and embrace it."
Brad Brach, Luke Gregerson and rookie Tommy Layne finished the four-hitter. Layne pitched the ninth for his first major league save.
Werner was coming off one of his worst starts of the season in which he allowed a season-high eight runs in 4 1/3 innings.
But he kept Pittsburgh off balance and had allowed only Pedro Alvarez's fourth-inning RBI single heading into the seventh. After Gaby Sanchez led off the seventh with his fourth homer and Werner walked Alvarez, the rookie was lifted.
"It felt good," Werner said. "At first, there were a little bit of nerves but once I got out on the mound, it all pretty much went away."
San Diego gave Werner a big lift by scoring three runs in the first inning off James McDonald (11-6) on only one hit.
"I was out of rhythm. You can't walk guys," McDonald said. "This is a team that sees a lot of pitches. They know the strike zone well . . . I got a better feel as the game went on."
McDonald gave up four runs and five hits over five innings. He walked five and struck out two.
McCutchen went 1 for 5 as his average dropped to .349. McCutchen, who has only two home runs and 11 RBIs since July 18, went 3 for 15 in the series.
The Pirates, who have lost four of five, were swept in a three-game series for the first time since losing at Baltimore in June.
McDonald started the first inning by issuing consecutive walks to Everth Cabrera, Will Venable and Chase Headley.
Quentin came a few feet away from hitting a grand slam when his fly ball hit off the wall in left-center field for a two-run double.
Mark Kotsay followed with a sacrifice fly.
McCutchen reached on a one-out single in the fourth. After a walk, McCutchen scored on a Pedro Sanchez's two-out single.
Cabrera stole two bases to raise his season total to 24 without being caught. Cabrera set a club record with his 28th consecutive stolen base, dating to Sept. 10, 2010.
Notes: Since 2006, the Pirates are 6-16 at Petco Park. ... Werner was San Diego's 14th starting pitcher this season, one shy of the club record set twice. ... Jerry Mumphrey held the previous Padres record with 27 straight stolen bases in 1980.