In a stunning pitcher’s duel in Pittsburgh, the San Francisco Giants fell to the Pirates on an historic walk-off 2-1.
Both teams got on the board in the second. Brandon Belt led off the top of the inning with a single, stole second, moved to third on an error by catch Tony Sanchez, and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Ehire Adrianza.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Starling Marte and Ike Davis hit back-to-back singles, with Marte ending up on third. Sanchez made up for his earlier error by tying the game with a groundout to third.
It stayed 1-1 for awhile. Both starting pitchers were on-point on Tuesday night, mirroring each other inning after inning. Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton threw 107 pitches over eight innings of work. He gave up just the one run, – unearned – two walks, and struck out three.
For San Francisco, Tim Hudson once again proved what a valuable pick-up he was this offseason. For the seventh straight start, Hudson pitched more than seven innings. He’s the first pitcher to accomplish such a feat for the Giants since Vida Blue did it in 1981. After Monday night’s marathon game that depleted the bullpen, the right hander gave Bruce Bochy exactly what he needed – nine innings of one-run ball. During the complete-game, Hudson threw just 108 pitches, 74 of which were strikes. After two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, it looked as if the game was headed to extra innings.
But, for the second night in a row, things got weird.
Marte hit a ball that caromed off the right field wall over the head of Hunter Pence. As Marte headed for third, Adrianza over-threw Pablo Sandoval, allowing Marte to race home. Sandoval’s throw to Buster Posey was a bullet, and Marte was originally called out at the plate, ending the inning.
But the play was reviewed and overturned, Marte was called safe, and Hudson (4-2, 2.15) was saddled with the tough-luck loss after giving up five hits, two runs, one walk, and striking out five. It was the first-ever replay walk-off in baseball history.
The Giants send Tim Lincecum (2-1, 5.12) to the mound on Wednesday to face Gerrit Cole (2-2, 3.69) on Wednesday to try and take the series.