SAN DIEGO -- After another disjointed effort on Wednesday, where the Padres couldn't get their defense to keep up with their typically-reliable pitching or resurgent offense, Chase Headley cut quickly to the bottom line when asked about his team's struggles.
"We need to get all facets going," Headley said. "We've got to do everything. Right now, it seems we can't put it all together."
That was evident in the series finale against the Pirates at PETCO Park, where two errors paved the way to a six-run inning as Pittsburgh topped the Padres, 7-4, before a crowd of 16,613.
A fielding error by Headley and a throwing error by catcher Nick Hundley led to a grand slam by Pittsburgh's Ryan Doumit in the third inning that sent the Pirates (15-16) on their way to their second victory in the three-game series.
The Padres (12-19) got solo home runs from Brad Hawpe and Eric Patterson in the ninth inning. But by then, the game and series were settled.
"I think, for the most part, that we have played pretty good defense," Headley said. "But we have definitely done a lesser job of minimizing our mistakes. But the times that it has happened ... it's killed us."
The Padres, a team that relied heavily on pitching and defense in winning 90 games last season, have made 20 errors this season in 31 games -- which has led to 17 unearned runs so far. On days when the defense and pitching have been good -- and in all fairness to the defense, it's generally been good -- the offense has failed to deliver.
When the Padres have hit -- as they did in this series against Pittsburgh, slugging six home runs to go with 28 hits in three games -- the pitching has been amiss. If it's not one thing, then it seems like it's another.
"Our pitchers have thrown the ball well all year, and there's been some games where the defense has let us down," Patterson said. "But I think that the bats are starting to come around."
Trailing 1-0, Padres pitcher Clayton Richard (1-3) allowed a leadoff single in the third inning to Andrew McCutchen. Xavier Paul then tapped a ball out in front of the plate. Hundley grabbed it quickly and, in an attempt to get the force on McCutchen at second, his throw sailed wide.
The next batter, Matt Diaz, hit a ball hard down the third-base line that Headley slowed with his glove on a lunging attempt. But he couldn't quite corral the ball, as a run scored and the inning continued.
"It was still rolling away a little and I knew McCutchen was running [home], so I didn't have a lot of time," Headley said. "I tried to snag it as quick as I could."
After Neil Walker singled up the middle to make it 4-0, Richard -- who walked three in five innings -- issued a walk to Steve Pearce, and the bases were loaded again. Struggling with his control and his command, Richard left a fastball out over the plate to Doumit, who hit it over the fence in left field for a grand slam.
"In those situations, you want to pick up your teammates. It's disappointing to not be able to make some pitches to get us out of it," Richard said.
Richard allowed seven runs -- though only one was earned -- in five innings, with three walks and four strikeouts.
"It was a fastball down. I'm just looking for something to get elevated and get a run in," Doumit said. "The last thing I want to do right there was ground into a double play. I was looking for a pitch up that I could hit a fly ball on."
The 7-0 lead was more than enough for former Padres pitcher Kevin Correia, who got his fifth victory of the season for the Pirates, as he allowed two earned runs on five hits over six innings, with two walks and three strikeouts.
"I didn't do a very good job of keeping my pitch count down today with a lead, but I think I was able to do enough that I never really let them back in the game," Correia said.
As for returning to his native San Diego and pitching against the Padres, a team he pitched for the last two seasons?
"It wasn't really a big deal for me. I don't know why. I've pitched here a lot over the years, and it's just kind of 'Been there, done that,' now," Correia said. "I didn't put a lot of significance into it. It was just another start. I wanted to go out there and win the game."
Stringing together victories has been difficult for the Padres, who have won consecutive games just twice this season.
The offense has generally been better, going back to a weekend series against the Dodgers where the Padres won two out of three games. On Wednesday, Hawpe had a double and then a 435-foot home run to center field. Patterson then homered for the second time in as many days.
It wasn't enough.
But Patterson cautioned not to discount the Padres, certainly not this early in the season. He's seen some encouraging signs recently -- like Hawpe, who has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
"There's no panic in here," Patterson said. "We'll put it all together."