Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bucs Hang On To Take Rubber Match From SF 4-3

Gerrit Cole got the first two Giants out easily; then a first-pitch fastball to Brandon Belt got, well, belted, and it was quickly 1-0 Giants. But the Bucs just as quickly rallied for the lead against Tim Lincecum. Travis Snider walked, went to second on a ground out and scored on Cutch's knock. Cutch came around when Starling Marte banged a two-out double to left, and it was 2-1 Pittsburgh.

The Giants were scoreless in the second, and the Bucs tried to make a big frame of it. With one down, Chris Stewart and Cole hit back-to-back singles, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on Snider's knock. Neil Walker added another single, but Cutch and Pedro couldn't add to the damage.

San Francisco went quietly in the third while the Pirates stranded a pair. It was the Giants' turn to leave ducks on the pond in the fourth when they couldn't convert second-and-third with one out into any scores. The Bucs added another hit and another zero to the board.

The fifth looked harmless enough with a runner on first and two outs. But Cole walked Hunter Pence on five pitches and Belt banged a change up to right for a double. Two runs scored, tho Belt ended the inning when he was nailed trying to advance to third on the throw home. Pittsburgh went with barely a peep as George Kontos took the hill; Ike Davis singled, but was caught stealing when Jordy Mercer swung through a hit-and-run, and it ended up a 1-2-3 frame.

It was three up, three down for San Fran in the sixth and more frustration for the Pirates. Stewart got aboard for the third time, but was erased when Cole rolled into a DP. Snider followed with a triple, but was stranded. The Bucs have left seven runners on in six innings to go with a DP and CS.

Cole got through the seventh without any harm, although he did hit the 100 pitch mark. Juan Gutierrez spun a clean frame for San Francisco. Gerrit came out for the eighth - Tony Watson being out today after back-to-back 20 pitch outings may have had something to do with that - and it took him seven pitches to notch three outs.

Ike opened the Buc half with his third knock and was bunted by Mercer to second. Josh Harrison came in then to run. Stewart popped out and Gaby went after the first pitch, catching it well but leaving Gregor Blanco room in center to glove it. Mark the Shark climbed the bump, and with a hand from another great Cutch grab in center, retired the G-Men in order on three flies, and the Bucs hung on for a 4-3 win.

Good win; the Giants were red hot coming into Pittsburgh. Charlie Morton yesterday and Gerrit Cole today gave them deep pitching, and with tomorrow's off day, the bullpen should be back in order now.

  • Odd stat of the day: The Buccos lead the league with 10 triples this season and have now hit a three-bagger in four-straight games.
  • Ike Davis had three hits; Cutch, Chris Stewart and Travis Snider each had a pair.
  • The Bucs won their second straight series after dropping six in a row, and have won 4-of-6 games. They face the Cards on Friday.
  • The attendance was 23,975.

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