Giants thrash BoSox

Photo credit: @NBCSGiants

By Jeremy Harness

The Giants’ playoff hopes may be over, but they are still playing hard and playing good baseball in spurts, and that still makes them interested to watch, even with only a couple of weeks left in the 2019 season.

For the past two nights, they have given it to the Boston Red Sox, a team that is in the thick of the American League playoff race, the latest installment being an 11-3 rout of the Red Sox at Fenway Park Wednesday night.

The Giants jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first three innings, a surge that was spearheaded by Stephen Vogt’s two-run homer in the first inning that sailed over the short wall in right field.

In the sixth and seventh, the Red sox mounted a comeback and cut the lead in half. However, the Giants used the next two innings to blow the game wide open.

They got a pair of runs in the eighth and then erupted for a five-run ninth, during which Mike Yastrzemski, who got a standing ovation from the Boston faithful in his first game at Fenway Park Tuesday night, singled in a run to start the burst.

Vogt had four RBI on Wednesday for the Giants, while Mauricio Dubon knocked in a pair of runs himself, courtesy of a two-run single in the ninth.

Meanwhile, Jeff Samardzija had a solid outing, giving up only a run on two hits, walking only one and striking out a pair of batters, lowering his ERA to 3.64. His Red Sox counterpart, Jhoulys Chacin, however, was not so fortunate. He was chased from the game after only 2 2/3 innings after surrendering four runs on five hits.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: It’s a real Boston Marathon, Giants edge Sox in 15 innings; Yaz scores twice, gets two hits

Photo credit: mercurynews.com

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Miguel:

#1 There was no giving up in this one and the Giants and Red Sox were not going to cry uncle anytime soon as this marathon went 15 innings that went to the Giants 7-6.

#2 Someone cried out “someone score!” as this one went until 2 AM EDT. Since one of the teams was a National League team (the Giants), there would be no 2 AM curfew, and lucky for both teams, they didn’t have to go until 2:30 AM.

#3 Anyone who works at Fenway press, concessions, security, engineers, front office, media or players will have to be glad that they don’t have to be back at the park until after 12 except the TV production crew, whose call time is the early morning. They might as well sleep in the production truck.

#4 Big night for Giants leadoff hitter outfielder Mike Yastrzemski and grandfather Carl, who had a mini reunion at the park before the game. It’s not too often the Giants get to come to Boston. This had to be something special.

#5 Taking a look at tonight’s pitchers. For the Giants, Jeff Samardjiza (10-12, 3.72 ERA), and for the Sox, Jhoulys Chacin (3-10, 5.44 ERA). Michael talks about the matchup.

Michael Duca does the Giants podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Yastrzemski homers in Giants’ 7-6 win in 15 innings

Photo credit: bostonglobe.com

By Jeremy Kahn

Mike Yastrzemski was the talk of the town, but it was another first year member of the Orange and Black who came through in the end.

Alex Dickerson hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 15th inning to score Donovan Solano from third base, helping the San Francisco Giants defeat the Boston Red Sox 6-5 at Fenway Park.

It was the first time in six tries that the Giants won in the 107-year old ballpark, as the Giants were swept in 2007 and 2016, their previous two trips to the oldest ballpark in the major leagues.

Solano hit a ground-rule double that went into stands with one out in the inning, and went to third on a wild pitch by Trevor Kelley.

The win gave Dereck Rodriguez the win, as he went the final two innings to pick-up his sixth win of the season.

Rodriguez was the 13th pitcher of the night, as Logan Webb started this marathon and went five innings, allowing three runs on three hits, walking four and striking out three.

Webb was in line for the win, but Andrew Suarez was unable to hold on to the lead, as he gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

After Suarez, the next 11 pitchers went nine innings, allowing one run on six hits, walking six and striking out nine.

Brandon Belt gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as he hit his 17th home run of the season over the Green Monster.

Yastrzemski gave the Giants a 5-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning, as he hit his 20th home run of the season in front of family and friends.

The Giants retook the lead in the top of the 13th inning, as Kevin Pillar singled to lead off the inning and then Brandon Crawford doubled to score Pillar, but was thrown at third base, when he over slid third base.

Sam Selman was unable to get the save, as he loaded the bases with one out, as he gave up a single to Marco Hernandez, walked Andrew Benintendi and was then replaced by Burch Smith, who gave up a single to Xander Bogaerts. Smith was then replaced by Wandy Peralta, who struck out Rafael Devers for the second out.

Kyle Barraclough was then called on to replace Peralta, but he was unable to close out the game, as he walked Juan Centeno to tie up the game. Barraclough was able to get out of the jam, as he got Brock Holt to end the inning.

NOTES: Both the Giants and Red Sox used a major-league record tying 24 pitchers, including 13 by the Giants, tying a team record.

The Giants did defeat the Red Sox in two games of the 1912 World Series, and also defeated the Boston Braves in the 1914 and 1915 seasons.

Bruce Bochy won his 1,999th game, moving within one of becoming the 11th manager to reach the 2,000-win victory mark.

The Sacramento Rivercats defeated the Columbus Clippers 4-0 in the Triple A National Championship game at AutoZone Park in Memphis, Tennessee.

This was the third time that the Rivercats won the Triple-A National Championship, becoming the first team to three National Championships.

UP NEXT: Jeff Samardzija will take the mound on Wednesday for the Giants, while Jhoulys Chacin will toe the rubber for the Red Sox. Game starts at 4:10 p.m. PT.

Red Sox, Giants aren’t where they want to be, could the two, iconic franchises partner up to improve their 2020 outlook?

By Morris Phillips

Statistically, the 2019 Giants are a mixed bag of hope and despair, but one number continues to set itself apart from the group: the Giants have hit just 158 home runs, 52 fewer than the Major League average, and way fewer than anyone could envision a playoff contender subsisting on.

Not hitting home runs, not scoring runs? Well, a trip to Boston to face the Red Sox could be the fix the Giants need to put themselves into a statistically, palatable place. The Sox have put up 831 runs–more than 100 runs above the major league average–and the Giants wouldn’t mind seeing some of that offense rub off on them.

Bringing your lucky charm to the interleague series couldn’t help either. The Giants are offering the hyped debut of Mike Yasztremski at Fenway. Yasztremski, the grandson of the Boston Hall of Famer, has a .265 average with 19 home runs and 65 RBI. His grandfather, Carl, will be on hand at Fenway on Tuesday night.

The Giants hope to retain Yasztremski, Kevin Pillar and Alex Dickerson in the off-season to bolster their outfield in 2020. But if not, could the Giants make a run at Boston’s J.D. Martinez, who has an opt-out clause in his five-year deal after this season? A year ago, Martinez was among baseball’s premiere offensive threats as Boston ascended to a World Series title. This year, Martinez has been off his game, but not so much so that he couldn’t realistically rebound in 2020. Would the Giants consider giving the former Diamondback a five-year deal and making him the centerpiece of their offense going forward?

Chris Sale started 2019 far removed from his All-Star form, briefly righted his ship, then was declared done for the season with an elbow injury. Sale signed a five-year, $145 million extension in the off-season, just part of Boston’s pricey rotation of 2020 and beyond. David Price, Nathan Eovaldi also are big ticket items for the Sox in 2020.

Still Rick Porcello and Pablo Sandoval come off the books this off-season, which could lead the Red Sox to pursuing Madison Bumgarner to bolster their rotation. After a season in which the Giants found few rewarding offers for their iconic starter, he could be a bargain in free agency. Could that lead Bumgarner to Boston?

The revolving door could start with Martinez or Bumgarner or some other names. Will Smith, a 2020 free agent, could be of interest to Boston, as could Tony Watson. The Giants could take a look at Porcello if the price is right.

One thing’s certain: both franchises will look shed salary before they add it. Dave Dombrowski, Boston’s architect for their 2018 championship roster has already been shown the door, likely meaning his replacement will have the mandate to be more fiscally responsible. That’s probably an easy one to determine. Both franchises have too many weighty commitments going forward.

Johnny Cueto, Buster Posey, Evan Longoria, Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt all have two years remaining with the Giants. In 2020, the financial commitment to those five players alone will total $91 million.

The Red Sox have $237 million in commitments to Price, Sale and Eovaldi over the next three seasons. But they also have interest in resigning Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts to long term deals, so that probably means the new Sox GM will be aggressive in trying to shed one of the three starters on this list.

These circumstances could draw the two franchises together as mutual beneficiaries. If so, it’s bound to be creative. But how could it not be? These two franchises know how to operate having won seven of the previous 15 World Series titles.

On Tuesday, Giants’ rookie Logan Webb faces Eovaldi at 4:05 pm.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Excitement builds, Yastrzemski scheduled to play all 3 games at Fenway Park

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants’ Mike Yastrzemski scores after hitting a solo home run during the 11th inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Phoenix. It was Yastrzemski’s third home run of the game. It was Yastrzemski’s third home run of the game.

On the Giants podcast with Morris:

#1 Whose got to be more excited about Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski playing at Fenway Park? Starting on Tuesday night, Yastrzemski, his grandfather former Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski or our very own MLB analyst Bill Gould?

#2 On Sunday against the Miami Marlins, Yastrzemski scored on a diving head first slide to score one of the Giants’ two runs, which was enough to get by the Marlins 2-1. Yaz is having a rookie season hitting .265, 56 runs, 87 hits, and 51 RBIs.

#3 Giants starter Johnny Cueto pitched five innings of shutout ball and gave up three hits in the win. The Giants had five pitchers come into relieve after Cueto left and they combined to hold off the Marlins to just one run.

#4 This is kind of a special series besides of the reunion of grandfather and grandson Yastrzemski. The Giants, who do not play at Fenway except for every three years. This is a special place for them to return to since it doesn’t happen often to come to a historical place like Fenway.

#5 This will be Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s last road trip as manager. The Giants conclude their 2019 road schedule in Boston and then to Atlanta. Pablo Sandoval, who was a Red Sox but not on this trip, wouldn’t quite expect the same reception Yaz will.

Morris Phillips does the Giants podcast each Sunday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Cueto goes 5 innings and gives up 3 hits; Yaz takes a dive to score a key run in Giants’ 2-1 win

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto throws against a Miami Marlins batter in the first inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

By Lewis Rubman

Miami: 1 | 5 | 1

San Francisco: 2 | 7 | 1

SAN FRANCISCO — This afternoon’s contest between the Miami Marlins and your San Francisco Giants wasn’t one for bandwagon jumpers on. The Fish, at 52-96, entered this afternoon’s game in last place in the NL East, 40 games out of first and 14 1/2 behind the Mets, their closest competitor. Miami’s the only team in its division with a sub-.500 record. There obviously is no pennant fever in Dade County.

The Marlins’ starter, 24 year old Venezuelan righty Eliézer Hernández, is a pitcher with a promising past and future and a unprepossessing present. He took the mound at 3-5, 5.24 ERA. His won-lost record is due, in part, to a lack of run support, and he shows signs of being a better pitcher than his ERA indicates.  His game time 1.27 WHIP is impressive, as are his 76 strikeouts in 78 1/3 innings of work. He has a tendency to surrender the long ball (2.2 per nine innings before today). He improved all those figures this afternoon. The speed of his fast ball is below the major league average, but he’s been developing an effective slider to compliment that pitch.

The Giants aren’t going anywhere either. At 71-78, they already had been eliminated from wild card competition before their starter, Johnny Cueto, threw his first warm up pitch. Cueto, though, is a bright spot, but how long he’ll remain one is an open question. The 11 year veteran was brilliant in his only appearance since returning from over a year on the injured list. That was five days ago, when he shut out Pittsburgh over five innings, allowing only one hit. He’s signed through 2022, which means he’ll be 36 years old on the last opening day of his contract.

To balance the age and experience of their starter, the Giants’ starting lineup featured some of their relative newcomers. Mike Yastremski led off, playing center field. Next to him, in right field, was Mike Gerber, in his second appearance since his call up from Sacramento yesterday. The remaining outfielder was Joey Rickhard, who was promoted from the River Cats on August 27th. Mauricio Dubón, called up from Sacramento the same day as Rickhard, was the second sacker.

It was Dubón who opened the scoring, with a leadoff homer to left in the bottom of the third. It came on a 1-0 count, off a 79 mph slider following a 90 mph fast ball, a squence that had been working pretty well for Hernández this season.

The Marlins tried to mount a comeback in the fourth, and it took Cueto 31 pitches to put down the uprising. The first two batters reached on a single and a walk, but the Giants’ righty then set down Starlin Castro, Lewis Brinson, and Magneuris Sierra in order, the last two on swinging strikeouts after excruciatingly long at bats.

Cueto retired the side in order in the fifth before being removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of that frame. The starter had allowed three hits and two walks without allowing a man to cross the plate. Of his 71 pitches, 46 were strikes, and one was a wild pitch. As in his first start, he got no decision.

His replacement, Fernando Abad, got Isán Díaz out on a nubber in front of the plate before giving way to Burch Smith.

Hernández, too, came out of the game before the bottom of the sixth began. In his five inning stint, the Marlins’ hurler had allowed one run, which was earned, on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine, throwing 85 pitches, 59 of which were strikes. Like Cueto, all he got for his efforts was a no decision.

Miami tied the game at one in the seventh. With two outs, Magneuris Sierra dropped a bunt towards third base. He beat Longoria’s throw to Belt, and it looked as though Sierra had knocked the first baseman’s glove off his hand. The ball bounced into foul territory in left field, and Sierra bounced into third. He scored on Jon Bert’s single to left. Wandy Peralta relieved the ill-starred Smith and closed out the inning with a fly to left by the pinch hitting veteran Curtis Granderson.

Héctor Noesi took care of the Giants quickly in the seventh with the help of a double play, and submariner Tyler Rogers set the Marlins down 1-2-3 in their half of the eighth.

When Chris Shaw was announced as a pinch-hitter for Rogers in the bottom of the eighth, left hander Jarlin García took over pitching duties for Miami. Bochy responded by sending in right handed Donovan Solano to pinch hit for the left handed batting Shaw. García got Solano out on a fly to center, but Yaztremski singled to left. Belt followed that with a single to center, and Ryne Stanek replaced García on the mound. He threw a wild pitch, which advanced both runners, and then walked Longoria, loading the bases.

Stanek bounced back to fan Stephen Vogt on three pitches. Then, with two outs and the bases still FOG, full of Giants, and Brandon Crawford at the plate, Stanek threw another wild pitch. Yaztremski just beat catcher Alfaro’s throw to Stanek, covering home, to give the lead back to San Francisco. Crawford got a conceeded walk to reload the bases before Gerber struck out to end the inning.

Bochy called on Will Smith to try to get the save in the ninth. In spite of a one out walk to Alfaro and a wild pitch that sent him to second, he did.

The win went to Rogers, now 2-0, 1.59 ERA, and the save to Will Smith, his 33rd. García was charged with the loss. He now is 3-2, 2.93 ERA.

Tomorrow is a travel day for the Giants. They will face Boston in Fenway on Tuesday.

Two-run eighth inning does in Giants, 4-2

photo from sfgate.com: Miami Marlins’ Miguel Rojas (19) is safe at home as San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, left, can’t make the tag in time during the eighth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — After losing the lead just an inning prior, the Miami Marlins put the game away in the next inning.

Miguel Rojas doubled in pinch runner Magneuris Sierra in the top of the eighth inning, give the Marlins a 4-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants before a crowd of 38,663 at Oracle Park.

It was the fifth game-winning RBI by Rojas on the season, which is tied for the second most on the team

Lewis Brinson then added a single to score Brinson with a huge insurance run that gave the Marlins a two-run lead.

Starlin Castro singled right before Jorge Alfaro hit his 15th home run of the season into the left-center field bleachers, a two-run blast that was measured at 473 feet that gave the Marlins a 2-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning.

The Alfaro home run broke a 20-inning scoreless streak by the Marlins.

Castro extended his road hitting streak up to nine games, when he reached on the single prior to the Alfaro home run.

During the streak, Castro is 16-for-35, a .457 clip with four doubles, three home runs and nine runs batted in.

Robert Dugger, who left the game with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, after Alfaro hit the two-run home run. Dugger went 6.1 innings, allowing two runs on five hits, walking two and striking out three.

Dugger was in line for his first major league win, but Brian Moran gave up a two-run pinch-hit triple to Donovan Solano with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning that tied up the game.

After Buster Posey flew out to lead off the inning, Brandon Crawford singled, then Mauricio Dubon doubled Crawford to third and then Solano tripled into the right-center field alley to tie up the game.

Solanos pinch-hit was the Giants 44th pinch-hit of the season, the most by the team since they picked 46 pinch-hits in the 2001 season.

Madison Bumgarner was in line for the loss, but then Solano tied up the game and he ended up with a no-decision. Bumgarner went seven innings, allowing two runs, while scattering four hits, not a walking a batter and striking out three.

This was the 10th no-decision of the season for Bumgarner, the most by a Giants pitcher since Atlee Hammaker in 1985 and Mike Krukow in 1987, who also had 10 no-decisions.

Brandon Belt went 1-for-3, as he reached base for the 25th consecutive game, tying former teammate Joe Panik for the longest active streak in the majors against the Marlins.

NOTES: Mike Gerber was recalled from the PCL Champion Sacramento Rivercats and Cristhian Adames was selected by the Giants from the Rivercats, and Corban Joseph was designated for assignment.

Adames became the 63rd player to get into a game for the Giants this season, tying the 2018 Toronto Blue Jays for the third most players used in a season in major league history.

UP NEXT: Johnny Cueto will make his second start of the season on Sunday, as the Giants close out the home stand before heading out a two-city, six-game road trip that begins on Tuesday night at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. The Marlins will send Elieser Hernandez to the mound, as the season series comes to an end and the Marlins then head to the desert to face the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field, beginning on Monday night.

Posey drives in lone run in Giants’ 1-0 win

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — Tyler Beede pitched one of his best games as a major leaguer, and he got the only run he needed from his battery mate.

Beede went 6.1 innings, allowing zero runs on just three hits, walking one and striking out five and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Miami Marlins 1-0 before a crowd of 33,418 at Oracle Park.

With the victory, Giants manager Bruce Bochy picked up career win number 1,997, leaving him three away from becoming just the 11th manager in major-league to reach the 2,000-win plateau. The previous 10 managers are all members of the Hall of Fame.

Buster Posey drove in the only run that Beede would need in the bottom of the sixth inning, as his bouncer leaped over the head of Starlin Castro that scored Stephen Vogt with the only run of the game.

Vogt led off the inning with a double to the right-center field alley, he then went to third on a Kevin Pillar ground out and then scored on the Posey base hit.

Posey also came up huge behind the plate, as he threw out Magneruis Sierra at second base for the first out of the seventh inning.

Sierra was originally called by second base umpire D.J. Reyburn; however, after a short review, the call was reversed, as Mauricio Dubon tagged Sierra prior to him reaching the base.

The Giants had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the second inning, Vogt led off the with a single; however, Pillar and Posey were unable to advance. Brandon Crawford singled him to second, but Beede grounded out to Miguel Rojas to end the inning.

Brandon Belt went 3-for-4 on the night, and his second hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning nearly gave the Giants; however, his double bounced into the stands for a ground rule double and Mike Yastrzemski was forced to return to third base. Yastrzemski singled with one out, but the two were stranded, when Evan Longoria struck out to end the inning.

Sandy Alcantara was the hard luck losing pitcher, as he went seven innings, allowing just one run on nine hits, not walking a batter and striking out six. With the loss, Alcantara falls to 5-13 on the season.

Despite allowing a hit in the top of the ninth inning, that was eventually retired by a double play, Shawn Anderson picked up his second save of his major-league career.

Garrett Cooper was forced to leave the game in the bottom of the first inning with a left knee contusion that occurred when he made a diving catch of a Yastrzemski liner. He is considered day-to-day.

NOTES: Belt extended his on-base streak against the Marlins up to 24 games that dates back to July 19, 2014. His streak against the Marlins is the second longest in the majors versus the Marlins, as only former teammate Joe Paniks streak is at 25 games.

The Giants are now 5-8 in September, and are 10-29 in the month since September 1, 2018 that included an 11-game losing streak during the 2018 season.

Abiatal Avelino hit a two-run single in the top of the eighth inning, as the Giants Triple-A team, the Sacramento Rivercats defeated the Round Rock Express 7-5 at Dell Field in Round Rock, Texas.

With the victory, the Rivercats swept the three-game Championship Series and will move on to face the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland Indians affiliate) on Tuesday in Memphis, TN.

This is the first time that the Giants won the Pacific Coast League since they won the 1977 title as the Phoenix Firebirds.

Tonight, was the fifth time this season that the Giants won a game by a 1-0 score, and it is most 1-0 wins in a season since 2008.

The only time that the Giants won more than five 1-0 games in a season since at least 1908 was the 1968 Giants and the 1933 Giants, as each team won six 1-0 games in a season.

UP NEXT: Madison Bumgarner goes for his 10th win on Saturday night, while the Marlins will Robert Dugger to the mound, as he looks for his first win of the season. Game time set for 6:05 p.m.

S.F. Giants Thursday game wrap: Bucs take 3 out of 4 from Giants with 4-2 win

sfgate.com photo: Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Joe Musgrove works in the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Harness

It was a matinee that surely will be forgotten by all as the San Francisco Giants fell flat 4-2 on Thursday afternoon to conclude the three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates losing three out of four. Pirates starter Joe Musgrove was the talk of the town getting a quality start off SF pitching five innings of shutout ball and got a triple to help his own cause.

The Pirates’ Jacob Stalling provided some offensive punch by contributing a home run. The Giants’ Evan Longoria hit a homer, but it wasn’t enough as the Giants now have lost four of their last five. The Pirates have been dominating since 2014 when visiting San Francisco winning 14 of their last 20 visits.

Musgrove improved his record to 10-12 and has said that he improved his motion by shortening his delivery, thanks to Bucs pitching coach Justin Meccage. Musgrove said he’s trying to eliminate a couple steps in his backswing for the shorter motion.

Musgrove in his five inning pitched surrendered four hits and struck out seven hitters for the win. It was reliever Felipe Vazquez, whose mix of pitches, sat the Giants down as he picked up his 28th save in the ninth going an inning with one walk, and two strikeouts.

Vazquez is remembered for his Monday clubhouse brawl with teammate Kyle Crick on Monday when Crick was playing music that Vazquez asked him to turn it down. Vazquez then invited Crick to punch him and he didn’t so Vazquez got to slugs in on Vazquez and Crick got a punch on Vazquez that bloodied him. It might have fueled the Bucs because they walked away with a 3-1 series win.

Anonymous Giants not nearly established enough to top the steadier Pirates, lose 6-3

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–A franchise record 62 players have suited up for the Giants this year, and it’s not just difficult to figure out who’s who.

On nights like Wednesday, it’s difficult to determine who’s supposed to do what, and when they’re supposed to do it. The visiting Pirates had a better grasp on all that, built an early lead and emerged with a 6-3 win.

The Giants used six pitchers, benched Buster Posey, lifted Brandon Belt for a pinch-hitter, and intended to lean heavily on rookie starter Logan Webb. The Pirates stuck with their same youth-infused crew that lead them to wins in 11 of their previous 18 games. Jose Osuna led their attack with a pair of doubles, and three runs scored.

“We’re out to win every game,” manager Clint Hurdle said of his Pirates. “There’s winning and losing, and there’s winning and learning. And if you’re losing and not learning, you’re wasting your time. You’ll get run out of this game.  So there’s lessons to be learned, and I think we’ve been able to have solid reviews when things haven’t gone our way.”

The Pirates’ intentions all came to fruition, while the Giants experienced multiple, embarrassing moments. Webb uncorked a pair of wild pitches in the Pirates two-run second, and was gone before finishing five innings. The rookie made his fifth start, and he’s lost twice and received two no-decisions since winning his initial big-league start on August 17.

Six relievers followed Webb, and the group acquitted themselves admirably, allowing two hits and two runs over the final four plus frames. But their efforts couldn’t affect the outcome, as the Giants were held to three singles, two of those in their three-run, fifth inning. The rest of the night was rooted in frustration, as the team came up with just one hit across seven opportunities with a runner in scoring position.

“Three hits, it’s tough to win a ballgame,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “You got to take advantage of those innings were we had them on the ropes. The strikeouts got us there. The leadoff walk, the two-out walk, they all came back to haunt us.”

The Giants have dropped eight of their previous 10 home games, and are now nine games below .500 at home on the season. Their three hits were their fewest at Oracle Park since July 19.

If there’s a theme running through this series with one game remaining Thursday, it’s the superior performance of the Pittsburgh bullpen, which has allowed one hit while registering 13 strikeouts. The Giants have failed to score a run in any of the 11 plus innings that the Pirates’ bullpen has pitched.

On Thursday, the Giants will turn to Jeff Samardzija in a matchup with Pittsburgh’s Joe Musgrove, who will be making his first appearance on the mound since July 31.