Pirates manage to stumble on the bases in bid for sweep of Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — It was a momentary lapse in concentration, a stupid mistake.
When Travis Snider forgot how many runners were on base in the sixth inning Wednesday, it triggered a momentum-shifting baserunning gaffe. The Pirates stumbled to a 7-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
“A buddy and I always talk about if you watch enough games, you'll see something you've never seen before,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “Unfortunately, that's the first time I've seen a team walk into a double play.”
Leading 5-4, the Pirates had Gaby Sanchez at third base and Snider at second with one out. Chris Stewart drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases.
However, Snider thought there already was a runner on first base and started walking toward third. Snider realized his mistake when he heard shortstop Brandon Crawford calling for the ball.
“I got caught,” Snider said. “That's a 100 percent mental error. I've got to wear that.”
As Snider was being tagged out, Sanchez broke for home. He also was an easy out.
“We wiped out the whole inning,” Hurdle said.
The snafu cost the Pirates a chance to blow the game open and seemed to energize the Giants.
Left-handed reliever Justin Wilson (3-2) coughed up the lead in the seventh by allowing two runs on a walk and two hits. The go-ahead run scored on Stewart's passed ball.
“Things happened today that don't normally happen to us,” said Hurdle, who had hoped for a better outcome on his 57th birthday.
Pirates starter Charlie Morton lurched through five innings and yielded four runs and nine hits. He walked three, hit another and threw a wild pitch.
“It was a fistfight four of the five innings he was out there,” Hurdle said. “A lot of deep counts. Nothing was sharp.”
Morton has one victory in his past eight starts. During that span, he is 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA.
Although neither team made a lot of solid contact in the first two innings, they combined to score four runs.
The Giants used a swinging bunt, a couple of infield dribblers and a soft single to take a 3-0 lead.
“Very frustrating,” Morton said. “It's part of the game, though.”
Morton faced nine batters in the first inning and gave up three runs. With one out, Crawford singled to right field. Buster Posey had an infield hit. Pablo Sandoval walked.
Michael Morse tapped the ball toward third baseman Josh Harrison, who had no play. Joe Panik walked to force in a run. Gregor Blanco lofted an RBI single just over shortstop Jordy Mercer's outstretched arm to make it 3-0.
The Pirates got their first run in the second inning. Neil Walker doubled, went to third base on a wild pitch and scored on Snider's infield grounder.
Harrison hit a two-run homer in the third inning off Tim Lincecum to tie the game at 3-3. Harrison has homered in four straight games and has nine this season. Mercer hit a two-run shot in the fourth, his seventh of the year.
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
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