National League MLB Baseball
Joe Musgrove improved to 4-0 on the season in the Padres’ 5-2 win Sunday. Photo credit: @Padres, via Twitter

Joe Musgrove continued his winning ways as the Padres logged a 5-2 victory Sunday to take two out of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Musgrove went seven innings against his former club, giving up one run while striking out eight.

The El Cajon native, who improved to 4-0 as his ERA dropped to 1.97, attributed his command this season to his experience.

“Really it’s just a little bit of trial and error early in the career, figuring things out, understanding who I am as a pitcher,” he told MLB.com.

The Padres had to overcome Pirates starter Mitch Keller though, who matched Musgrove, giving up just one run over six innings, on a Manny Machado single to drive in Austin Nola in the third.

But the Friars broke through in the seventh thanks to Trent Grisham, who hit a line drive single to drive in Nola and C.J. Abrams.

The rookie Abrams, who has struggled in his first month in the bigs, collected two hits, scored a run and added an RBI on a sacrifice fly.

The Padres opened the series with a 7-3 win, then dropped the second game 7-6 in 10 innings.

The team welcomes back a familiar face Tuesday when starter Mike Clevinger takes the mound after a year-plus absence due to Tommy John surgery. Like Musgrove, he faces his old team – the former Cleveland Indians traded him to the Padres in 2020. He returns after prepping in three rehab outings.

“I’m commanding all five pitches pretty well,” Clevinger told MLB.com. “So I feel like I’m ready to take that next step.”

After an off day, the Padres complete their road trip with two games in Cleveland – where the Indians have been rechristened as the Guardians. Clevinger starts at 3:10 p.m. Tuesday, followed by MacKenzie Gore.

The Padres return home Thursday to open a seven-game home stand. They welcome the Miami Marlins for a four-game series, followed by the Chicago Cubs.