Before embarking on their current road trip, the Pittsburgh Pirates were probably hearing rumblings from fans, media, and critics that this trip to Colorado, San Francisco, and Minnesota could very well make or break their season. After all, they are on the outside looking in at both the N.L. Central Division and N.L. Wild Card playoff pictures, and a strong (or weak) showing on the road could determine just where the final month and a half of the season goes from here.
After taking two of three games against the Colorado Rockies, the Pirates opened their four game weekend series with a 10-5 victory over Andrew McCutchen and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
The Bucs tallied 13 hits as a team, and used two big innings to make this a comfortable win. Adam Frazier led the way with three hits, while David Freese, Elias Diaz, and Josh Harrison added a pair each. Overlooked on this night was Ivan Nova, who earned his seventh win of the season after a strong performance, giving up two runs on three hits in six innings.
Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning on back to back homeruns, on back to back pitches, but Diaz and Josh Bell. The Giants came scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth on a triple by Alen Hanson and a single by Steven Duggar.
A five run seventh inning put the game out of reach for Pittsburgh. A single by Frazier plated the team’s fourth run, a double by Gregory Polanco made it 5-2, and a three run homreun by Freese made it 8-2.
A single by Colin Moran and a sacrifice fly by Frazier in the eighth made it 10-2. The Giants did score three runs off Casey Sadler in the ninth, but it was far too little, far too late.
This was a great way to continue the momentum the Pirates built in Colorado, and to open another crucial series on the road with a victory. The Pirates need to win series from this point in the season onward if they are going to make a serious push towards the postseason.
The Bucs and Giants will face off in the second game of the series on Friday night at 10:15pm. Clay Holmes will take the mound for Pittsburgh against Derek Holland for San Francisco.
Record vs. Giants: 3-1
Record vs. N.L. West: 11-19
Record on the Road: 27-27
Overall Record: 60-56
Let’s Go Bucs!