The Pittsburgh Pirates faced a familiar foe tonight when Johnny Cueto made his season debut for the San Francisco Giants. Cueto had been out after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has always done well against Pittsburgh, who he has not lost to in the regular season dating back to 2013. That trend would continue tonight, even with a late Pirates rally.
San Francisco jumped on the board early with three runs in the first inning off of Buccos starter Mitch Keller. Stephen Vogt got it started when he drove in two runs with a single to shallow right center. He would then come around to score when Brandon Crawford singled to left center. Vogt would strike again in the fifth with a two-run home run to right.
Keller had another rough outing, going five innings and allowing five runs on nine hits. The one bright side was that he recorded seven strikeouts without walking a batter. Cueto would also go five innings, allowing one hit to go with four strikeouts and one walk.
Pittsburgh was able to rally in the eighth inning with four runs of their own. Melky Cabrera drove in Kevin Newman and Bryan Reynolds on a double to right. Josh Bell then stepped to the plate and smacked a 387 ft. two run home run to left center field. The Pirates were able to get a runner on base in the ninth, but just couldn’t get him around to score. Because of this, they fell to Giants by the final of 5-4.
The Buccos have had to rely on late rallies in the first two games of this series. Though it makes the game more exciting to watch, scoring some runs early in the game and getting a quality start from the starting pitcher is a better way to lock down wins. These two teams will be back in action for the final night game of this series on Wednesday, before the afternoon finale on Thursday.
Record vs. Giants: 3-2
Record vs. N.L. West: 15-17
Record on the Road: 32-41
Overall Record: 63-82
Let’s Go Bucs!