Giants Do It Again – Still Perfect on Road Trip with Wild Win in Pittsburgh
In a wild and weird night in Pittsburgh, the Giants overcame their largest deficit of the year and defeated the Pirates 11-10 in 13 innings.
San Francisco struck first when Angel Pagan and Buster Posey both singled in the top of the first. Michael Morse doubled home Pagan, and Hector Sanchez singled in Posey to give the Giants a quick 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, in his second start of the season, Yusmeiro Petit was unable to keep the Pirates off the board. Starting again in place of Matt Cain – who was retroactively put on the disabled list after cutting his finger last Tuesday – Petit lacked control on Monday night, and Pittsburgh took advantage.
With one out in the bottom of the third, Josh Harrison singled, stole second, and scored on a Neil Walker single. Andrew McCutchen followed that up with a single before Pedro Alvarez gave the Pirates the lead with his eighth home run of the year, a three-run shot to center to make it 4-2.
Pittsburgh tagged Petit for four more runs in the bottom of the fifth when McCutchen hit a one-out double and Alvarez collected his fourth RBI of the night on a bloop single. Starling Marte doubled before Petit intentionally walked Ike Davis to load the bases, the last batter he’d face. Jake Dunning was brought in to replace Petit and threw two wild pitches, allowing two more runs to come in. Clint Barmes drove in the eighth run of the game with a sacrifice fly, and just like that, it was 8-2 Pirates.
All in all, Petit lasted just four-and-a-third innings, allowing nine hits, eight runs, three walks, and struck out four on 91 pitches, 54 strikes.
But anyone who expected the Giants to roll over and give up clearly hasn’t been watching this 2014 squad. Pagan, Hunter Pence, and Posey led off the sixth with back-to-back-to-back singles, making it 8-3. With one out, Sanchez lined a single to left to bring home Pence and knock Jeff Locke out of the game. Pablo Sandoval singled to load the bases, Brandon Hicks plated two with a double, and Brandon Crawford made it 8-7 with a sac fly of his own.
Despite the early run support and cruising through the first few innings, Locke ended up with a line similar to Petit’s – five-and-a-third innings, eight hits, six runs, no walks, and five strikeouts on just 65 pitches.
The Giants couldn’t get a shut-down inning out of Juan Gutierrez as Pittsburgh added a run in the bottom of the sixth. Jordry Mercer doubled to lead off, moved to third on a fly-out by Harrison, and came home on a Walker ground out.
San Francisco tied it up in the next inning. With one out, Pence singled and Posey walked before Morse doubled and Sanchez singled to bring them both in and tie the game at nine. Sanchez finished the night with four hits and caught all 13 innings.
And then the game got even weirder.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Davis walked and Tony Sanchez singled, bringing in Jeremy Affeldt to pitch. The right-hander got the ground ball he was looking for from Jose Tabata, but Crawford couldn’t get off a good throw and, with Davis running all the way from second, the Pirates regained the lead on an infield hit. But even that lead wasn’t safe, and Pence singled to lead off the ninth, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Posey single to make it 10-10 and send the game into extras.
Both bullpens battled it out as Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, and Jean Machi shut-out the Pirates for the next five innings, striking out six and allowing just three hits and one walk. For Pittsburgh, Jeanmar Gomez kept San Francisco off the scoreboard for three innings before the Giants finally broke through against Jared Hughes – in an unexpected way.
With one out in the top of the 13th, Pence walked and Juan Perez was hit by a pitch. Machi came to the plate to bunt, but when Hughes couldn’t handle the ball, Machi was safe at first and Pence came around to score the go-ahead run. Without the Giants ever getting a hit.
Sergio Romo closed it out for the Giants, earning his tenth save of the season.
After going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position in Atlanta and hitting seven homers, the San Francisco offense had eight such hits on Monday night with no home runs. They’re 4-0 on this current ten-game road trip and have won six in a row.
In Pittsburgh on Monday night, Machi had the game-winning hit (ok, it was an error, but should’ve been a hit) and earned the win. The reliever is now tied for the National-League lead in wins with five.