The last thing the Padres wanted to do heading into their highly anticipated weekend series with the Dodgers was drop three of four games to the lowly Pirates in Pittsburgh. Coming off two straight losses in which they went 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position, the Friars needed a spark.

They got that and much more in an 8-3 victory to close out a 5-2 road trip Thursday afternoon, going 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

San Diego put four runs on the board in the first inning thanks to Jake Cronenworth’s RBI double, Manny Machado’s third homer of the year — a two-run shot — and an RBI double by Tucupita Marcano in his first Major League start. Eric Hosmer added two on a double in the second, and Cronenworth and Machado each knocked in another with sacrifice flies in the fourth and sixth, respectively.

Starter Chris Paddack, hoping to find his 2019 form, limited the Pirates to three runs (one earned) on five hits over five innings, walking two and striking out four.