The Pittsburgh Pirates were back in action at PNC Park on Friday night. This post All-Star break home stand would begin with the first of three games against the San Francisco Giants. The opener was a back-and-forth affair, that saw San Francisco score the go ahead runs in the seventh inning to pull out the two-run victory.
Michael Conforto started the scoring in the fifth inning for the Giants when he drove in two runs on a double to right center. Pittsburgh would tie the game with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Ji Man Choi hit a solo home run to center, which was followed by Jared Triolo scoring on a balk by San Francisco starter Ross Stripling later in the inning.
That Giants answered in the top of the sixth when Luis Matos scored on a Brandon Crawford groundout. Choi would hit a sac fly to score Bryan Reynolds in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. The Pirates took their lone lead in that inning when Tucupita Marcano came through with a sac fly to plate Henry Davis.
San Francisco would plate three runs in the seventh to put the game away. Patrick Bailey scored a pair with a single to right center. A fielding error by Davis allowed the second run to score. Bailey then came around to score when Matos singled to left center. Colin Holderman was responsible for those three runs, two earned. He lasted just .1 of an inning, allowing two hits and walking one batter.
Rich Hill started the game for Pittsburgh and he pitched six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Ryan Borucki came in after Holderman to pitch 1.2 innings. During that time, he struck out a batter and gave up one hit. Yerry De Los Santos worked the ninth, striking out two batters.
Stripling pitched 4.2 innings and struck out six. He would also allow two runs on five hits. The Giants would use four pitchers out of the bullpen to cover the remaining innings. The win would go to Mauricio Llovera after he pitched .2 of an inning. Camilo Doval earned his 27th save of the season, allowing just one hit during the ninth.
Two errors, a passed ball, and leaving five men on base were key factors to the loss tonight for the Pirates. It is a mystery to me why Austin Hedges is still behind the plate, while our top catching prospect is getting reps in right field. These two teams will battle again on Saturday night at 7:05pm. The pitching matchup is set to be Johan Oviedo against Alex Cobb.
Record vs. Giants: 2-2
Record vs. N.L. West: 14-12
Record at Home: 22-22
Overall Record: 41-50
Let’s Go Bucs!