Giants 6, Pirates 3
Francisco Liriano didn’t make a lot of consistent pitches in the
strike zone. The few times when the Pirates left-hander did find
his spots, the results were just as frustrating.
So much for chasing history.
Liriano lasted just four innings in his bid to become the first
Pirates southpaw in more than 20 years with 15 wins, and the San
Francisco Giants made their former farmhand pay for his lack of
control in a 6-3 win over Pittsburgh on Saturday night.
”The whole night was a battle for me,” said Liriano, who
pitched with runners on base in every inning. ”I was getting deep
in counts, 3-2 counts a lot. Every time I made some good pitches
they fouled them off or found a way to put them in play.”
Nearly all of the damage off Liriano (14-6) came in the first
when the Giants batted around and scored four times.
Liriano, who had allowed only one run over his previous 16
innings, gave up three straight hits to open the inning, including
Buster Posey’s broken-bat RBI single. Brett Pill followed with a
check swing infield single that drove in Joaquin Arias and made it
After Posey scored on Pablo Sandoval’s groundout, Gregor Blanco
added an RBI single to give the Giants a 4-0 lead.
”Just inconsistent command,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle
said. ”He had to battle. It was a street fight for four innings.
He didn’t have it tonight. The rhythm was inconsistent and the
command was inconsistent.”
The Giants chased Liriano after the fourth but added on against
the Pirates bullpen. Hector Sanchez was hit by a pitch with one out
in the fifth and scored on a wild pitch by reliever Jared Hughes,
making it 5-1.
Even when things went right for the Pirates, there was a
Tony Sanchez hit his first career home run for Pittsburgh but
the team was unable to retrieve the milestone ball. Fans in the
outfield bleachers at AT&T Park threw a ball back onto the
field but it was not one used by major league baseball.
The loss dropped the Pirates into a first-place tie with St.
Louis in the NL Central with 33 games left in the regular
”People were worried about us being a .500 ballclub and the
next thing you know we’re neck and neck going into the end of the
season,” center fielder Andrew McCutchen. ”The expectations, we
exceeded those. Now we the opportunity to do even more.”
Posey had three hits and Sandoval drove in two runs to back Tim
Lincecum’s uneven outing.
Lincecum (7-13) pitched into the sixth inning after two rocky
starts for his first win in more than two weeks. The former
two-time NL Cy Young winner walked four but struck out eight and
pitched out of trouble in back-to-back innings before giving way to
Six San Francisco relievers completed the six-hitter. Sergio
Romo worked the ninth for his 31st save.
”It was great to see us put up some early runs,” Giants
manager Bruce Bochy said. ”We haven’t done that in awhile,
especially at home. Timmy rebounded from a rough start and I
thought the early runs helped.”
The Pirates knocked Lincecum out of the game in the sixth inning
after McCutchen drew a one-out walk and Pedro Alvarez doubled.
Pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez singled off reliever Jose Mijares to
drive in McCutchen. Tony Sanchez followed with an RBI single to
trim the lead to 5-3.
Pittsburgh had the tying runs on base later in the inning but
Machi struck out Andrew Lambo and got Cliff Barnes to ground
The Pirates also had two runners on in the seventh but failed to
NOTES: Pirates leadoff hitter Starling Marte was placed on the
15-day disabled list with a bruised right hand before the game.
Marte’s replacement, Lambo, was called up from Triple-A
Indianapolis before the game and went hitless in three at-bats. …
Giants LHP Jeremy Affeldt (groin strain) threw off a mound and
could begin a rehab assignment as early as next week. … San
Francisco is 13-3 in its last 16 games when scoring four or more
runs. … Pittsburgh has 16 home runs over its last 13 games.