Pirates unable to hold lead, drop extra-inning marathon to Giants
The San Francisco Giants scored on a throwing error in the 13th inning Monday to pull out an improbable 11-10 victory against the Pirates.
With one out, reliever Jared Hughes (1-1) walked Hunter Pence on four pitches. Juan Perez was hit by a pitch.
Pitcher Jean Machi bunted the runners over. Pence scored when Hughes' wild throw bounced away from first baseman Ike Davis.
“Just threw it down,” Hughes said. “If I make a good throw, he's out. Of course, if I don't hit a guy and walk a guy, we're not in that situation in the first place.”
Hughes had to hurry his throw because Machi hustled down the line.
“What a great bunt,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He made it look easy. I think it put pressure on them.”
The game lasted five hours, 29 minutes The announced crowd of 13,675 had dwindled to a few hundred by the final inning.
“What a game,” Bochy said. “It looked like we were dead in the water. It's one of the grittiest ones I've been involved with with this group.”
The Pirates led 8-2 after five innings and 9-7 after six, but could not hold down the Giants. Starter Jeff Locke allowed six runs and the bullpen yielded five.
“It got down to our location,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “We were up in the zone more than we normally are.”
Ike Davis scored on Jose Tabata's infield single to put the Pirates up, 10-9, in the seventh. However, Mark Melancon blew the save by serving up Buster Posey's RBI single in the ninth.
It was the Pirates' eighth blown save of the year, which ties them with Colorado for most in the National League. The Pirates blew 15 saves all of last season.
Locke was called up to make his season debut with the Pirates in place of left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, who's out with a sore right knee.
“It's the most comfortable I've felt all season,” Locke said. “I took it the same way I normally would: came in, went over hitters the same way I normally would.”
Locke began the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. In four starts for Triple-A Indianapolis, he went 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP
To clear a roster spot for Locke, rookie pitcher Casey Sadler was sent back to Indianapolis.
Locke got off to a bumpy start. Four of the six batters who faced him in the first inning reached base, as the Giants took a 2-0 lead.
With a little unintentional help from the umpire, the Pirates took a 4-2 lead in the third.
The Pirates had runners on first and second with one out. With a 3-0 count against Pedro Alvarez, Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit threw a fastball that crossed the plate at ankle level.
Anticipating a walk, Alvarez took a step toward first base. Umpire Phil Cuzzi rung up a strike.
Given a second chance to record the out, Petit came back with another 89 mph four-seamer. This one was actually in the strike zone, which gave Alvarez an opportunity to do what he does best.
He launched it beyond the center field wall into the visitor's bullpen.
The Pirates knocked Petit out of the game and tacked on four runs in the fifth inning.
Andrew McCutchen doubled with one out, then scored on Alvarez's looping single. Marte doubled. Ike Davis was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Jake Dunning, who was brought up before the game to replace Matt Cain (finger injury), replaced Petit and threw a wild pitch that scored Alvarez. After Tony Sanchez walked, another wild pitch scored Marte. Davis scored on Clint Barmes' sacrifice fly.
Locke retired 13 straight batters until the sixth, when Pagan led off with a single. Five batters later, Locke was out of the game and reliever Bryan Morris was trying furiously to quash a rally. The Giants scored five runs on six hits, five of them singles.
Neil Walker's RBI grounder in the bottom of the inning gave the Pirates a 9-7 edge.
The Giants tied it with two runs in the seventh. It could have been worse. Pablo Sandoval grounded into a double play to get Watson out of a first-and-third, one-out jam.