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    Joe Musgrove had quite the homecoming at Petco Park.

    Pitching in front of at least 75 friends and family members [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-kawann-short-jersey]Kawann Short Jersey[/url] , the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings against his hometown team and Jody Mercer homered to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the sloppy San Diego Padres on Friday night.

    Musgrove (3-3), a 2011 graduate of Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, was facing the Padres for the first time in his three-year big league career. He allowed seven singles while striking out five and walking two.

    He had plenty of support as he got into and out of trouble in the seventh. The Padres had runners on first and third after hitting consecutive singles to open the inning but Musgrove retired the side, including inducing Manuel Margot to hit into an inning-ending double play.

    ”It was incredible,” Musgrove said. ”They were the ones who really pushed me through that last inning. I got first and third and no one out and all I could think about was all the people that are here watching me and how I’d love to get out of this and put on a little bit of a show for them. It was really cool. It was special.”

    Musgrove did his best to not get distracted.

    ”Out of the gate when I’m out warming up, there’s people screaming right and left and every time I took a step I’m getting called from different directions,” he said. ”I was trying to block it out for the most part but I was also trying to acknowledge the people who were here. Throwing my bullpen there’s 50 of my friends standing right above the catcher hollering and stuff. I’ve always done well in front of my family and friends and that’s something that takes me to that next level.”

    He had dinner at his parents’ house on Thursday night and planned to go out with them after the game, as well as have a local beer that’s named after the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.

    ”Tonight was really special for me,” he said. ”It’s a night I’ll never forget.”

    Musgrove was relieved by Steven Brault, a 2010 Grossmont grad. Brault had a short night, allowing two runs on two hits while getting just one out in the eighth.

    ”It was cool,” Brault said. ”Felt good coming in, felt confident. Some things didn’t go my way, and that happens. Overall the experience is something that is priceless. Something I never knew I’d actually get to have.”

    Brault said it was ”pretty weird” to have two guys from the same high school pitch consecutively against their hometown team.

    ”If you told us six years ago, seven years ago, that that would happen, we’d probably both go [url=http://www.pantherscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-mario-addison-jersey]Mario Addison Jersey[/url] , `That’s ridiculous,”’ he said. ”Just for it to actually happen, and for us to get a win out of it, and Joe pitched so well tonight, it was just awesome to see. It was cool.”

    Felipe Vazquez got the last two outs for his 16th save.

    The Pirates won for the third time in nine games and the Padres lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

    While Musgrove dominated, the Pirates piled on against rookie lefty Eric Lauer (3-5) and the Padres. The Pirates scored an unearned run in the first inning on two singles and Austin Hedges’ passed ball, and added four runs, including two unearned, in the third. Hedges and shortstop Freddy Galvis each had a throwing error. Gregory Polanco hit a two-run double and was thrown out to end the inning trying to stretch it into a triple. Josh Bell hit an RBI triple and Elias Diaz drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.

    Mercer homered to center field leading off the fourth to make it 6-0. It was his fifth.

    Lauer allowed six runs, three earned, on nine hits in five innings, struck out three and walked none.

    Padres manager Andy Green was ejected before the top of the fourth inning by plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Green apparently was unhappy about a balk call against Lauer while trying to pick off Polanco in the second. The Pirates did not score that inning.

    ”We felt very strongly that it wasn’t,” Green said. ”That was not the story of the baseball game by any stretch. I don’t think we were very clean early in the game. We did what we’ve done very recently which is show a lot of fight late. It was just a little too late.”

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Pirates: Placed RHP Chad Kuhl on the 10-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.

    Padres: Green said OF Franchy Cordero is leaning toward having surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

    UP NEXT

    Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (6-5, 4.03), a 2010 graduate of San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo High, is scheduled to start the middle game of the series. He’s made one career start against the Padres, giving up four runs in six innings and getting a no-decision in an 8-5 Pirates loss at Pittsburgh on May 20.

    Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-3 [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-frans-nielsen-jersey]Frans Nielsen Jersey Kids[/url] , 3.57) is scheduled to make his third start since returning from a DL stint that lasted just more than a month.

    Atlantic City and southern New Jersey have always been Philadelphia Eagles country.

    And with the local team in the Super Bowl, the seaside gambling resort can only dream of the extra millions of dollars it might have taken in had it been able to offer sports betting.

    The U.S. Supreme Court will decide New Jersey’s challenge to a law banning sports betting in all but four states later this year.

    But the decision won’t come in time to make up for the business Atlantic City thinks it would have gotten from die-hard Eagles fans, as well as casual fans, looking to bet on the Eagles-Patriots championship game on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

    Tropicana president (and lifelong Eagles fan) Tony Rodio said sports betting would generate a lot of new business for Atlantic City.

    ”The northeast corridor is a giant sports betting market,” he said. ”If you take the Eagles and put them into the mix, I just can’t even imagine how big that would be. It would take it to a whole new level.”

    Alas, that is not to be, at least this season. The Supreme Court ruling might not come until June. Legal analysts predict New Jersey has a decent chance of winning the case with a ruling that would permit sports betting in the state or across the nation.

    Sports betting would be offered at Atlantic City’s casinos and the state’s horse racing tracks.

    City Councilman Marty Small, an Eagles season-ticket holder who organizes an annual flight to see an Eagles road game, said Eagles fans would have booked every available hotel room in the city weeks ago in anticipation of watching – and betting on – their team in Atlantic City.

    ”We would have been totally sold out by now, the whole city,” he said. ”Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest party day of the year, and people would have come from near and far to claim Atlantic City as their party place. We’re missing a golden opportunity this year.”

    This year, casinos in Las Vegas expect betting on the Super Bowl to surpass last year’s record of $138.5 million.

    Drew Leonard, lifelong Eagles fan from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who grew up in southern New Jersey and used to visit Atlantic City twice a month [url=http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-keke-coutee-jersey]http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-keke-coutee-jersey[/url] , said he would go to the resort to bet a few hundred dollars on the Eagles, if it were legal.

    ”Anything that would bring in more people and business would definitely help,” he said, predicting Philadelphia will beat New England by a touchdown.

    Of course, if sports betting were legal, a sizeable number of people would be expected to come to Atlantic City to place bets regardless of which two teams were playing in it.

    Kevin Ortzman, regional president of Caesars Entertainment, which owns three of Atlantic City’s seven casinos, said the northeastern U.S. ”is probably the biggest driver of sports betting,” noting that there are hard-core sports fans who would come to Atlantic City to bet on football, even if it involved the Cleveland Browns.

    But the presence of the local market-favorite Eagles would have added some ”extreme excitement and vibe” to the game, he said.

    Even without sports betting, Atlantic City casinos are trying to cash in on Eagles mania. The Caesars Entertainment casinos (Harrah’s Bally’s and Caesars) are considering bringing in retired Eagles players to meet and greet customers.

    The Tropicana is using green lights to illuminate two indoor fountains, and all last weekend, it sprinkled the recorded sound of an eagle screech from time to time into the overhead music playing in the casino.

    Follow Wayne Parry at

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