Joe Musgrove’s arm, bat lead Pirates past Giants
SAN FRANCISCO — Joe Musgrove made some adjustments to his delivery, and he’s enjoying the results.
Musgrove pitched five shutout innings and hit a triple, Jacob Stallings homered and the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Giants, 4-2, on Thursday.
The Pirates took three of four in the series and have won 14 of their last 20 games in San Francisco dating to 2014.
Evan Longoria homered for the Giants, who have lost four of five.
Musgrove (10-12), who missed his last start with right-foot discomfort, has been working with assistant pitching coach Justin Meccage on shortening his delivery.
“I’m trying to eliminate a couple of steps in the backswing here and just make it a little bit shorter motion,” Musgrove said.
“I used to be a lot shorter in the back, and over the years I’ve gotten longer, but that comes with the rigors of a long season. Sometimes your arm’s not feeling great, and you’ve got to make up for it and you’ve got to find the adjustment to make it feel better.”
Musgrove struck out seven, gave up four hits and walked none. The right-hander threw 18 of 19 first pitches for strikes.
“That’s sick. That put him in play for everything else,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “The curveball and slider played off each other. His fastball command was good with the two-seamer and four-seamer, only one three-ball count.”
Musgrove also tripled leading off the fifth and scored on Adam Frazier’s single to make it 3-0. It was the first triple by a Pirates pitcher since May 29, 2010, when Brian Burres did it.
Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez worked around a first-and-third, no-outs situation in the ninth for his 28th save in 31 attempts.
Joey Rickard drew a leadoff walk to start the ninth and Donovan Solano followed with a single, but Vazquez struck out Corban Joseph and Mike Yastrzemski, and then got Buster Posey to ground out.
Vazquez, who Monday was involved in a clubhouse brawl in which he punched teammate Kyle Crick, recorded his third save in four days.
Jose Osuna doubled in a run in the top of the first, and Cole Tucker tripled and scored on Kevin Kramer’s sacrifice fly to give Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead in the fourth.
Longoria hit a two-run homer off reliever Yacksel Rios — his 19th — in the Giants sixth.
Stallings hit his sixth homer and second of the series leading off the seventh against starter Jeff Samardzija (10-12).
San Francisco has dropped nine of its last 11 home games and is 31-41 at Oracle Park this season.