Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke (49) high fives teammates after being batted in on a three run RBI double against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. (PHOTO: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Jose Tabata's three-run double capped a
seven-run fifth inning, as the Pittsburgh Pirates pounded the San Francisco
Giants, 10-5, to remain atop the NL Central.
With St. Louis winning at home over Atlanta earlier Thursday, the Pirates
needed a victory to keep the lead in the division. Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run
ground-rule double to start the big frame, and Pittsburgh kept its one-game
edge on the Cardinals.
Garrett Jones and Jordy Mercer belted solo homers off Matt Cain, who left with
a contusion on his right forearm after he was hit by a line drive in the
Jeff Locke threw 73 pitches over the first four innings and was replaced by
Jeanmar Gomez (3-0), who breezed through the ensuing three hitless innings in
the opener of this four-game series.
Marco Scutaro and pinch-hitter Brandon Crawford had two-run hits for the
Giants, who lost for the fourth time in five games. Brett Pill had three of
San Francisco's eight hits.
Cain entered the contest having tossed 15 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings
against the Pirates. He was 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA in his last six starts against
them, but allowed an RBI single to Andrew McCutchen in the opening inning and
the homers to Jones and Mercer in the second. Jones' blast landed in San
Cain gave up seven hits over his 3 1/3 innings and was forced out of the game
when Gaby Sanchez laced a ball that glanced off the pitcher as he tried to
protect himself. Cain walked off the field and was replaced by Guillermo
Moscoso (1-2). X-rays taken were negative.
Buster Posey's sacrifice fly in the third plated Scutaro, who singled to
center the next inning to tie the game.
The Pirates sent 11 men to the plate in the fifth. A wild Moscoso walked two
batters and hit Tabata to start the bottom half. Jose Mijares then gave up
Alvarez's two-run hit. Russell Martin and Sanchez tacked on sacrifice flies.
Locke's single kept the inning going, and Tabata then cleared the bases with
his smash to left.
Crawford hit a two-run ground-rule double in the eighth inning. Tony Watson
then struck out Nick Noonan with two men in scoring position.
The Pirates, who have won three of their last four games, recorded their
9,800th win in franchise history since joining the National League in 1887.
They are the sixth major league team to reach the mark, joining the Giants,
Cubs, Braves, Dodgers and Yankees ... McCutchen has hit safely in each of his
last nine games against the Giants at a .459 (17-for-37) clip ... Alvarez has
nine RBI in his last seven games ... The Giants placed outfielder Andres
Torres on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left Achilles tendon. The
team also optioned pitcher Michael Kickham to Triple-A Fresno, while recalling
infielder Nick Noonan and outfielder Francisco Peguero from Fresno ... Giants
third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was been held out of the lineup the last two
games due to a sore back, started and went 1-for-3 with two runs scored.
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