Former Greensboro Grasshopper Nick Gonzales Homers and Triples in his home debut for the MLB Pittsburgh Pirates


PITTSBURGH — ā€” The Pittsburgh Pirates used the seventh overall pick in the 2020 draft on Nick Gonzales(Greensboro Grasshoppers) in part because of the power he’s able to generate out of his slight 5-foot-9 frame.

Nearly three years later, that power is finally on display in the major leagues.

Gonzales tripled in the second inning for his first big league hit, and then drilled a 442-foot homer to center as the Pirates broke out of an extended funk with a 9-4 win over San Diego on Tuesday night.

Asked if he typically deposits a ball that far beyond the wall during batting practice, the 24-year-old just laughed and said: ā€œI don’t hit many homers during BP, that’s for sure.”

Carlos Santana, Jack Suwinski and Nick Gonzales(Greensboro Grasshoppers) each hit home runs as the Pittsburgh Pirates topped the visiting San Diego Padres 9-4 on Tuesday night.

Gonzales(Greensboro Grasshoppers) also hit an RBI triple, Santana added an RBI single and Andrew McCutchen, Henry Davis and Rodolfo Castro each added run-scoring base hits for the Pirates, who had lost 12 of their last 13 games.

Pittsburgh starter Rich Hill (7-7) allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings, with four strikeouts and two walks.

Roansy Contreras pitched the final three innings for his first career save.

Ha-Seong Kim hit a two-run single and Gary Sanchez and Nelson Cruz each had an RBI single for the Padres, who have lost eight of their last 12.

San Diego starter Reiss Knehr (0-1) gave up five runs and six hits in two innings, with one strikeout and two walks. He replaced scheduled starter Yu Darvish, who was ill.

Manny Machado doubled to lead off the second. An out later, Sanchez’s single drove in Machado for a 1-0 Padres lead. Brandon Dixon and Trent Grisham followed with singles to load the bases. Kim then singled to drive in two to make it 3-0.

Pittsburgh tied it in the bottom of the inning. Suwinski walked and went to third on Castro’s single. Ji Hwan Bae drove in Suwinski with a sacrifice fly. Gonzales’ first big-league hit, a triple, scored Castro, making it 3-2. Gonzales later scored on McCutchen’s single.

In the third, the Pirates went ahead 5-3 when Santana and Suwinski hit back-to-back homers to open the frame. It was Santana’s seventh homer of the season and Suwinski’s 16th.

Austin Hedges reached on catcher’s interference in the fourth, was sacrifice bunted to second by Josh Palacios and scored on Davis’ single for a 6-3 Pittsburgh lead.

San Diego got to within 6-4 in the sixth. Xander Bogaerts doubled with one out, went to third on Sanchez’s groundout and scored on Cruz’s single.

McCutchen singled in the home half of the sixth, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Santana’s single. Santana later scored on Castro’s single to make it 8-4.

Gonzales hit a 442-foot homer to center in the seventh to make it 9-4.