After losing a heart breaker on Saturday night by a walkoff error, the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped their five game losing streak by beating the San Francisco Giants, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon. The Bucs bats have been slow to start the season, but were able to plate four runs on eight hits with five walks off the Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong and the bullpen.
Right-hander Kevin Correia allowed one run on three hits over 6.0 innings. He walked one and struck out two while throwing 91 pitches, 62 for strikes. Correia kept the ball down in the zone, getting 13 of his outs via the groundball.
The lone run that Correia allowed came in the 5th frame. Correia gave up a leadoff double to Brandon Belt. He took a 2-2 slider just out of reach of Garrett Jones at first, who made a jumping catch, but the ball reflected off his glove and into right field. After advancing to third on a groundout, Belt scored on a Emmanuel Burriss RBI groundout to short.
Correia retired seven straight to start his second outing of the season before giving up a line drive ripped up the right side by Burriss. The third and final hit Correia allowed over his outing came with two outs in the 6th frame –a single to center by Pablo Sandoval.
After going down 1-2-3 to in the first frame, the club were able to push two runs across the plate off Vogelsong in the 2nd. Garrett Jones took a 1-0 change-up for a leadoff homer to right field. It marked Jones’ first long ball of the 2012 season. Neil Walker followed with a base knock into left field. With one out, Clint Barmes singled and Michael McKenry walked to load the bases.
In the first five games of this trip, the Pirates had gone just 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position. Alex Presley, however, was able to come through with RISP by hitting an infield single to second, his second infield RBI hit this season.
The Bucs scored two more runs off the Giants’ relievers in the 8th. Andrew McCutchen leadoff the inning with a base hit, and Casey McGhee, who replaced Garrett Jones at first base, took the first pitch he saw for a knock into center. Neil Walker laid down a sac bunt to advance the runners, but third baseman Sandoval’s throw to first sailed into the seats allowing McCutchen to score and McGehee to advance to third. Josh Harrison, who pinch-hit for Alvarez, laid down a perfect squeeze play to score McGehee for the second run of the inning.
Closer Joel Hanrahan pitched a scoreless 9th inning with two walks. He picked up his first save in as many chances of the season. With the 4-1 win, the Pirates improve to 3-6 on the season.
- Relief — Jared Hughes: IP, H; Jason Grilli: IP, H, BB, K; Joel Hanrahan: IP, 2BB
- For the first time this season, the Pirates had the lead after 6.0 innings.
- Patience at the plate: Catcher Michael McKenry drew three of the club’s five walks on the day. The Pirates had just three free bases over their three games prior.
- Right-fielder Jose Tabata went 0-for-5, which included stranding a combined seven on the bases. In both the second and sixth frames, Tabata came to the plate with two outs. He grounded out and struck out in those two at-bats. Tabata is batting just .133 this season.