Perhaps the most beautiful edifice in baseball – hard by the Allegheny River, located literally at one end of a yellow brick (and steel) road known as "Roberto Clemente Bridge" -- PNC Park is truly a major league field of dreams.

The Padres' dreams.

There isn't a ballpark in baseball where the Padres play this well, including their own. They've actually sort of made PNC their own home away from home, never losing a series here since its opening in 2001, and the Padres are on their way to taking another three-game set with a rather stunning 9-8 triumph in the opener.

In particular, the Pirates saw quite enough of switch-hitter Chase Headley in just one night. After belting a three-run homer left-handed in a six-run fifth inning to tie the game at 7-7, Headley went up right-handed in the seventh for a two-run homer that put the Padres ahead 9-8.

In the aftermath, though, Headley was hardly feeling celebratory. A left-calf strain suffered by closer Huston Street while chasing down a grounder on the last play of his 21st save had cast a pall on the entire clubhouse.

"That crashes the party," said Headley. "You want to feel really good about yourself, but when you lose a guy like that, it really hurts. We're jsut hoping that it's not super-serious and he'll be back soon as he can."