San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants open three game series against Pirates tonight at Oracle Park

San Francisco Giant starter Johnny Cueto seen here throwing against the Oakland A’s at Oracle Park on Fri Jun 25, 2021 will start against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight to open a three game series (AP file photo)

On the Giants podcast with Michael:

#1 The San Francisco Giants second baseman Wilmer Flores has really come into his own hitting a gamer on Wednesday night at Dodgers Stadium for the game winner and hitting .250, 61 hits, 11 homers and 33 RBls.

#2 The Giants had lost the night before to the Dodgers and dropped from two to one game ahead of the Dodgers but the win on Wednesday got them right back with a two game lead.

#3 Going back to Flores once again he was facing the Dodgers relief ace Kenley Jansen who had 21 saves and an ERA of 1.45. Was it a matter of Jansen throwing a bad pitch or Flores just reaching out grabbing and taking Jansen deep.

#4 Michael what is the concern for outfielder Mike Tauchman whose hitting .156 with 33 strikeouts in his last 41 games and has an overall batting average of .176. He sat out Wednesday night’s game.

#5 Starting pitchers for Friday night baseball at Oracle Park in San Francisco as the Pittsburgh Pirates come in for a three game series. For the Pirates Chad Kuhl (3-5 ERA 4.31) he’ll face the Giants Johnny Cueto (6-5 ERA 4.01) how do you see this pitching match up.

Michael Duca does the Giants podcasts each Friday at

Dealbreaker on Howard Terminal ballpark: A’s looked for two infrastructure projects Oakland Council gave them only one

Oakland A’s owner John Fisher and team president David Kaval behind the Oakland A’s dugout in undated photo have turned down the Oakland City Council’s offer after they voted yes on Tue Jul 20, 2021 (file photo from Athletics Nation)

By Jeremiah Salmonson

The Oakland City Council held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the A’s Howard Terminal Development Proposal. The meeting took place at 9 AM local time over zoom.

Tensions were high heading into the meeting on Tuesday. The climate over the development project has been hot since Major Lague Baseball and the Oakland A’s essentially delivered an ultimatum to the city. The ultimatum was essentially, “approve our Howard Terminal ballpark plans or we are leaving town.”

MLB has stated they do not beleive the current site to be viable for the future of the MLB product. This obviously leaves the A’s with little choice but to pursue a more updated model of a downtown ballpark with other amenities.

On Tuesday after the community input section of the meeting, Councilmember Fife asked A’s President Dave Kaval a very direct question to the tune of, “If the current city proposal isn’t in consideration from the A’s what are we doing here?”

The response from Kaval drew mixed responses after the meeting. The A’s appeared very set that the council either vote on the A’s proposal or the A’s were not interested in hearing what they had to say. The council did not do so. Instead, after hours of community input and conversation with the council they decided to vote on the term sheet the city had released on the prior Friday.

One key difference between the two are the number of IFD’s (Infrastructure Financing Districts). The A’s want two in order to pay for the project while the city of Oakland only wants one. The city did appear to make the concesison of adding a BID (Business Improvement District).

However, the A’s did not appear to want to play ball at all with the city on this issue. One concession the city did seem to make is that the A’s would not have to pay for off-site infrastructure. It appears the city is willing to reimburse the A’s through taxes of these costs or at a minimum subsidise them.

The Council voted in a 6-1-1 decision to approve the preliminary term sheet the city put together. All members voted in favor excpet Councilmember Carroll Fife abstained and Councilmember Noel Gallo voted against the project. However, it will prove mute if the A’s refuse to return to the negotiating table on the approved term sheet and not the one the A’s put fourth.

The meeting did not end on an overly optimistic tone as it appears the A’s will not return to the negotiating table. Only the next few days if the A’s are headed out of town or if they are willing to try and get a deal done with the city that involves some compromise.

Shotime ends in sixth inning; LA’s Bullpen collapses Ohtani’s effort, A’s win 4-1

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani seen pitching in the fifth inning against the Oakland A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on Mon Jul 19, 2021 (AP News photo)

LA Angels 1 – 8 – 0

Oakland 4 – 7- 1

By Lewis Rubman

Monday, July 19, 2021

OAKLAND–Let’s pause for a moment to think about what the slumping A’s (54-42) were up against tonight. Facing them on the mound was a man who fit Cervantes’ description of Lope de Vega, perhaps the greatest poet and playwright of Spain’s golden age, “one of nature’s monsters.”

Shoei Ohtani, fresh from opening the All Star Game for the American League, brought a record of 4-1, 3.49 with him. The relentlessly improving Los Angeles Angels (46-47) were outhitting the Athletics by 27 points, .259 to .232, and their starting lineup also featured a man who fit Cervantes’ description of Lope de Vega, Shoei Ohtani, the MLB leader in home runs, with 34 in 314 at bats.

Facing this juggernaut, the home team relied on Cole Irvin (6-8,3.65), who in spite of losing his last start and, with it, a three game winning streak, was 3-1, 2.95 in his last seven starts.

On the offensive side of the ledger, Oakland recently has been hitting below its modest average for the season. They were batting a lowly. .208 in their last dozen and a half games, good for only 64 runs, and have shown an alarming penchant for leaving runners on base, especially if they’re in scoring position

Tonight, the starting pitchers battled to a stand off, but Oakland used long balls by Ramón Laureano and Matt Olson against the Halos´ bullpen to take home a hard fought victory, 4-1.

The Angels fell victim to The Curse of the Lead Off Double in the first frame. Two innings later, David Fletcher, who had hit the fatidic two bagger, singled to center and tried to score from first on Ohtani’s single to center. Laureano and Andrus made two perfect throws that allowed Murphy to tag the fleet footed Fletcher out at home, a call that was confirmed after the obligatory, but thankfully brief, review.

It was the A’s chance to threaten in the bottom of the third. With one down, Kemp drew a walk. Canha dropped a fly that fell in front of the diving Adam Eaton in right for a double that sent Canha to third. Ohtani got Andrus to strike out swinging an 0-2 slider, bringing Olson to the plate. He grounded out to second baseman Fletcher, playing in short right field. Two more RISP stranded.

Kemp’s was the Athletics’ last hit until Olson singled to right with two out in the sixth, Oakland’s third safety in what was still a scoreless tie. Lowrie lined out to Ohtani to end the inning.

Ohtani didn’t pitch after the sixth. He moved to right field having surrendered three hits and a walk and chalking up eight strike outs. He threw 96 pitches, 59 for strikes.

Steve Cishek replaced Ohtani on mound and promptly walked Moreland and Chapman before throwing Laureano a 78 mph slider that he A’s centerfielder deposited in the left field seats for his 14th home run of the year. It put the Athletics ahead 3-0 and ended Cishek’s tenure on the mound, where Tony Watson took his place and put out the fire, but not before Kemp hit a bunt single and stole second.

When Adam Eaton opened the eighth with a single, Irvin gave way to Lou Trivino. The A’s starter had held the Angels to seven hits and a walk. Of his 84 pitches, 59 were strikes, and he struck out three of the crew from Anaheim. Lou Trivino retired the next three batters, the last of whom was Ohtani.

The bottom of the eighth began with Alex Claudio on the hill for for the Angels and Matt Olson the plate for the Athletics. Four pitches later, Olson was back at the plate, crossing it with his 24th home run of 2021, a 392 foot blast to right. Claudio stayed on to strike out Seth Brown, pinch hitting for Moreland, before handing the ball over to Junior Guerra, who got the final two outs.

Trivino stayed on to try for the six out save. He almost didn’t make it. After walking Phil Gosselin with one down, he surrendered a double to rookie Brandon Marsh, who went 3 for 4 in this, his second big league game. Trivino got Kurt Suzuki out on a fly to center, but Andrus flubbed Taylor Ward’s grounder that would ended the game. It took a great catch by Chapman of a foul by Taylor Ward next to the rolled up tarp behind the A’s bullpen to end the contest.

Irvin got the well deserved win, to bring his record to 7-8, 3.42. Trivino sweated his way to his 15th save. Cishek got the loss.

The A’s home stand will wind up tomorrow, Tuesday, at 12:37 with James Kaprielian (4-3, 2,90) penciled in to start against José Suárez (4-2-2.29)

Giants open 3 game series in SF with A’s; Belt back on IJ with leg injury

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt seen in this Sat Jun 19, 2021 photo after hitting a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies and congratulated by third base coach Ron Wotus will be on the injured list after suffering a leg injury against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim on Wed Jun 23, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

After sweeping the Los Angeles Angels in a two-game series to strengthen their position as the best team in the league with a 48-26 record, the San Francisco Giants enjoyed Thursday off. The Giants sit 4 games ahead of the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

The only bad news for the Giants from Wednesday was that first baseman Brandon Belt could be going back on the injured list. Belt suffered a possible leg injury while trying to score the go-ahead run when a throw to third base got away from the Angels’ Anthony Rendon. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said after the game that Belt injured his right knee and would get an MRI.

Belt’s apparent injury comes after he missed 11 games this season due to a left oblique strain. The Giants’ offense will suffer if Belt is indeed placed back on the injured list. With the team being off on Wednesday, there was no word on Belt’s condition, so fans will have to wait until Thursday to find out his status.

The Giants host the Oakland A’s for the first of three games in the Bay Bridge Series on Friday at 6:45 p.m. The crowd at Oracle Park is expected to reach close to full capacity, and be the biggest since 2019 before the pandemic. The Giants and A’s are two of the best teams in the league. The A’s (46-31) are second in the AL West and lost two of the first three games in the series against the Texas Rangers but won on Thursday. The Giants have won three straight games.

San Francisco’s starting pitcher on Friday will be Johnny Cueto, who has 68 hits, 27 earned runs and allowed eight homers, 11 walks, 47 strikeouts and has a 4.05 ERA across 60 innings this season. Meanwhile, Oakland will start with Sean Manaea, who has 84 hits, 29 earned runs and allowed eight homers, 21 walks, 89 strikeouts and has a 3.01 ERA across 86.2 innings.

Montas wins 7th game; Murphy homers for A’s in 6-4 win over the Halos

The Oakland A’s Jed Lowrie (8) greets Sean Murphy (12) after both scored on a double by Elvis Andrus at the Oakland Coliseum on Tue Jun 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

Los Angeles 4 – 7 – 0

Oakland 6 – 8 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

OAKLAND–It’s not unexpected, but it’s good news that the A’s have picked up their option to renew Bob Melvin’s contract for another year. His record as the A’s manager with more wins than any other besides Connie Mack speaks for him. His players speak for him, too; not just when speaking about him, but when speaking about themselves.

Whenever I hear an A’s player assessing his performance in a post game interview, I’m always impressed at their willingness to criticize themselves and the modesty with which they accept praise. You don’t say things like that when you don’t trust your boss.

When Melvin has to criticize a player in one of those interviews, he almost invariably will say that a technique wasn’t working, as in “his slider wasn’t working today” instead of “he kept missing with his slider.” He reminds reporters that a fielding mistake came on a tough play.

It’s also good news that Chad Pinder, who was removed from last night’s game after his beaning still has not been placed under the protection of the concussion protocol and seems to be improving.

The A’s showing tonight gave BoMel a chance to say nice things about his charges. Oakland handed the crew from Anaheim a 6-4 defeat, and the A’s manager was positively glowing in post game comments.

The game between the Angels and the Athletics began with Frankie Montás (6-6, 3.47) setting Los Angeles down in order and his mound rival, Andrew Heany (4-3,4.37) shutting out Oakland in spite of a one out walk to Matt Chapman.

The Halos’ southpaw and the A’s righty swapped zeroes for another inning, and then Montás issued a lead off walk to Juan Legares, who took off for second with David Fletcher at the plate and so turned what could have been a double play into a 6-3 ground out that had the same effect as a sacrifice bunt. That effect enabled Legares to score on Justin Upton’s single to right center and put the Angels ahead 1-0.

A spiffy pick of Shoei Ohtani’s hard hopper to Olson, whose swift, accurate throw to Andrus the A’s shortstop just as quickly returned to help ended the frame with about as perfect a 3-6-3 twin killing that you’ll ever see.

Oakland pulled even in their half of the same inning. Tony Kemp open it with a single to center, and after Skye Bolt popped out to second, Canha sent a liner that split the distance between Taylor Ward in right and Lagares in center to go for a double that brought in Kemp. Chapman untied the short lived knotted up score with a line single to left that sent Canha home.

The bottom of the Angel’s order proved troublesome once more in their half of the fifth. One time Oakland receiver Kurt Suzuki lined a one out single to right and got to third on Lalgares’s single, also to right. David Fletcher shot a line drive to center for a run scoring single.

Montás put a stop to this seemingly endless tatoo by getting Upton to fly out to right and besting Ohtani, whose swinging strike out put him at 0 for three for the evening. But, like traffic on the Bay Bridge, the game had been tied up again.

The top of the sixth featured a beautiful, diving catch by Skye Bolt in center. He raced to his left and threw himself horizontal to the turf to capture Jared Welsh´s bid for a double into a line drive out.

When Olson led off the Oakland sixth with a single to left, Joe Maddon lifted Heany in favor of right hander Steve Cishek, who walked Lowrie on four pitches. He then walked Murphy on a full count, bringing up Seth Brown, hitting for Piscotty, with the bases loaded and nobody out. Brown lifted a sac fly to center, bringing Olson in with the go ahead run and moving Lowrie on to third.

The run was charged to Heany. The runs scored by Lowrie and Murphy when Andrus hit the Stream Your As sign in center, were charged to Cishek, who was dismissed from his mound duty, giving way to Alex Claudio, who put out the fire.

Heaney had thrown 98 pitches, 68 of them strikes, over five innings. He allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits and a walk, while striking out three. Claudio having done his job, it was Chris Rodríguez who faced Canha, Chapman, and Olson in the bottom of the seventh, setting them down in order.

After 98 pitches, 66 strikes, in seven hits, during which he surrendered two runs, both earned, on five hits and a walk while retiring eight men on strikes, Montás ceded the mound to Jesús Luzardo.

He did well on Fletcher and Upton, retiring them with out trouble, but Shohei Ohtani broke his oh-for by taking the 98 mph four seamer Luzardo threw him on a 3-1 count deep into center field for his 18th four bagger and 45th RBI of the year. It now was a 5-3 ball game.

Lowrie just missed restoring the A’s two run lead when he drove Aaron Slegers’ 3-2 slider to the base of the left centerfield wall, where Lagares corralled it.

Murphy, on Slegers’ very next pitch, was more succesful. He planted his eighth home run of the season over the fence in center, and the three run margin was restored. Andrus kept the heat on Slegers with a two out two bagger to left.

A walk to Kemp brought up Skye Bolt, whose ground out served as prelude Yusmeiro Petit’s entry into the game, faced with his third save opportunity of the 2021. (He’d converted one of the previous two).

Petit thrives on tight situations, but doesn’t handle commodious leads very well. So it didn’t come as suprise that Jared Walsh took his second offering deep to center to narrow the gap to 6-4.

The win went to Montás, now 7-6, 4.21, while Heaney was saddle with the loss, bringing his recordto 4-4, 4.45. Luazardo’s recovery remains a work in progress.

With this win, Oakland preserved its two and a half game lead over Houston in spite of the Astros’ come from behind walk off victory against the Rangers.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, afternoon both teams will rub the sleep out their eyes and face eachd other at 12:37. The probable pitchers are Griffin Canning (5-4, 5.22) for the visitors and Cole Irvin (4-7, 3.70) for host team.

Giants and Nats to make up rain out as doubleheader Saturday

Heavy rains in Washington DC postponed Thursday’s opening game of the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals series at Nationals Park on Thu Jun 10, 2021 (photo courtesy of KGO ABC 7 Sports San Francisco)

By Jessica Kwong

The series opener between the San Francisco Giants and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday night was postponed due to inclement weather, specifically heavy rain.

“It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader this Saturday, June 12th,” the Giants and Nationals said in tweeted statements.

The first game that day is scheduled to begin at 11:05 a.m. and the second game is slated to follow at 4:15 p.m. Both will be seven-inning regulation games. Weather in Washington, DC, on Thursday was forecast as unpredictable, but wound up in a downpour.

Giants right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani (5-2, 3.51 ERA), who was set to start on Thursday, will now start on Friday. Right-handed pitcher Kevin Gausman will start on one of the two games on Saturday. The pitcher for the other game in the doubleheader has not been announced. Right-hander Johnny Cueto was originally planned for Saturday, but it is unclear if he will still take the mound with the changes.

Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer (5-4, 2.22 ERA), who was ready to start on Thursday, will also open on Friday. Right-hander Joe Ross was already scheduled to start for Washington on Saturday and will pitch one of the games. The other pitcher for the Nationals that day has not been announced.

Fans who had tickets for Thursday’s game will be able to use them for the early game on Saturday. Those who are unable to attend are offered the chance to get a refund or trade for a later date at the box office.

San Francisco is 1-1 in one doubleheader this season. The four-game series is scheduled to wrap up on Sunday with first pitch at 10:05 a.m. The Giants will then head home to Oracle Park to host the Arizona Diamondbacks for a four-game series.

11th inning single puts the Holt in Rangers 4-3 win over Giants

The Texas Rangers Brock Holt gets congratulations from teammate Isiah Kiner-Falefa for getting the 11th inning walk off single against the San Francisco Giants at the Ball Park in Arlington on Wed Jun 9, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

The San Francisco Giants lost 4-3 in extra innings to the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Wednesday afternoon, missing the chance to walk away with another series victory.

San Francisco had a one-run lead in the ninth inning but blew the chance to win when a grounder got infield. After a stolen base and bad hit, the Rangers tied the game.

The Giants made a run first in the 10th inning, but the Rangers also scored. In the 11th inning, Texas did not allow San Francisco to score and then Brock Holt got a two-out RBI single to give the Rangers the 4-3 win. The loss for the Giants was particularly surprising because they have the best record in the MLB at 38-22, while the Rangers at 23-39 are in last place in the AL West.

San Francisco used Zack Littell as the starting pitcher – his first opener since 2018 – before putting lefty Sammy Long in. Long struck out seven in four innings in his major league debut for San Francisco.

He allowed a run on one hit, a double by Eli White, in the sixth inning, and walked one. Long threw 47 of 69 pitches for strikes. Long, who stopped playing baseball after the Tampa Bay Rays released him three years ago, said he felt great on the mound.

‘That was above and beyond right there on,’ Long said. ‘Just felt like I was in my element.’

Giants manager Gabe Kapler said he didn’t think they could have drawn it up any better for Long.

‘I thought he was poised, obviously used all of his weapons, able to execute all of them for strikes,’ Kapler said. ‘The line is incredibly impressive for the first time out at the major league level.’

The Giants beat the Rangers on Tuesday, 9-4. They still hold the best record in the NL. The Giants start a four-game series against the Washington Nationals on Thursday at Nationals Park. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m.

Offensive Fireworks By Oakland Beats Colorado 9-5

The Oakland A’s rallied for four runs in the top of the third inning to defeat the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Fri Jun 4, 2021 in Denver (@Athletics photo)

Offensive Fireworks By Oakland Beats Colorado 9-5

By Barbara Mason

After some offensive struggles the Oakland A’s (34-25) finished up their last series against the Seattle Mariners with not only some great defensive play but getting back on track offensively winning the series after dropping the first of the three game series.

Tonight the A’s were back on the field in a three game series against the Colorado Rockies (23-35) looking for more great offensive play. Frankie Montas was on the mound for Oakland and Jon Gray for the Rockies. The A’s offense went to work once again with a four run rally in the top of the third inning as the A’s defeated the Colorado Rockies to open the series 9-5 at Coors Field.

The A’s did not waste any time scoring in the first inning. Matt Olson hit a double and Mark Canha who was on second scored for the early 1-0 lead.

Oakland extended their lead in the second inning when Sean Murphy hit his 6th home run of the season for a 2-0 lead.

The A’s Mark Canha would hit a home run in the third inning, his 11th of the season. The offense was on fire and showed no signs of letting down. Matt Olson would single, Brown walked, Lowrie singled scoring Brown. Matt Chapman would sacrifice and drive in Lowrie.

The A’s had 4 runs, 4 hits and a 6-0 lead. The Rockies would have a nice third inning scoring two runs off of hits by Tapia, Daza and Fuentes. The score after three innings was 6-2 in favor of the A’s.

The Rockies would score a run in the fourth inning . It was a quiet fifth inning for both teams going three up three out.

Oakland got something going in the sixth inning. Mark Canha would hit a double bringing in Matt Chapman who had singled. The A’s now led by the score of 7-3 after six innings.

This was offense at it’s finest for Oakland. Sean Murphy hit a double in the seventh inning bringing in Jed Lowrie and now the score stood at 8-3 for the A’s.

The Rockies did rally a number of times but Oakland was able to hang onto the lead. The A’s would finish off the game with a double play. The final score was 9-5. Oakland had scored in six of the nine innings in this game. First pitch in tomorrow’s game will be at 6:10 PM

A’s shut down by the Angels for the second straight day in a 4-2 loss

By Morris Phillips

OAKLAND– Well, the A’s could use a couple of improvements.

Replace a broken glass panel on the club level. Get a few more less socially-distanced bodies in the stands. And maybe an extra productive bat or two for the struggling lineup.

Yeah, an extra bat or two.

One day after being shut out by the Angels, the A’s were stymied again unable to bust up a two-run deficit in any of the final six innings of a frustrating 4-2 loss in Sunday’s series finale.

Possibly the low point stretching across all nine frames: the A’s failed to register a knockout blow on Jose Quintana, the Angels starter who entered with no wins and a bloated ERA, but escaped a 37-pitch, third inning and two bases-loaded situations without allowing a hit. Unbeknownst to the A’s, Quintana pitched the inning with a shoulder injury that would force him to depart early.

“Going into the eighth we only had two hits,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Offensively, it’s not enough. The last couple of games we had some opportunities. Just didn’t come through as much as we’d like to.”

The A’s tallied three hits Saturday and four on Sunday. A pair of doubles prevented the club from suffering the rarity of three, consecutive games without an extra-base hit, last done in 1980. For a club that has 70 home runs in 55 games, and regularly comes up with the big hit, the last two games veered too far from the game plan.

Since their captivating 13-game win streak, the A’s are a middling 15-15. If not for the tepid pace of the AL West race thus far, they’d be looking up at the competition. Instead, a 31-24 record still has them in first place, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Astros. A road trip to Seattle and Denver to see the NL Rockies doesn’t seem like a bad idea right now. The A’s home-heavy schedule thus far hasn’t paid dividends; they’re 17-17 at home.

“We feel like we have a couple more wins maybe that we should have at this point,” Melvin said. “It seems like we get to right at a chance to go 10 games over .500, and we’ve been up against that a couple of times and lost.”

Of course, one team’s rough afternoon can be another team’s gem. For the Angels, desperate to survive Mike Trout’s absence, seeing the best of Quintana’s nine starts as an Angel was part of their good news. His injury situation is a concern, but reliever Jose Suarez picked Quintana up with three, flawless innings of relief to secure the win. That gave the Angels a split of the four-game set, critical for a club that has recently underperformed in relation to their lesser paid rivals in the Bay.

“Kind of a nicely intense game, intense series. I loved it,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “We have to know we can win here.”

Three relievers followed Suarez, and they also were effective, combining to strike out four, issue no walks, and scatter–if you will–a pair of hits. The A’s fans–over 10,000 in number for the first time in 2021–fidgeted in the absence of excitement. That, and flinched when Juan Legares’ foul ball took out a chunk of a window panel on the second level restaurant area.

Workers were forced to quickly knock out all the remaining glass when it continued to fall and cause a hazard. Another fable for the encyclopedia of the Coliseum, now 47 seasons and counting, and a bargaining chip for the club, still publicly seeking a new home in Oakland or elsewhere.

Cole Irvin went six innings as the starter for the A’s. Most of that was damage control, and he was effective in that role, departing with the A’s still in reach, down two runs. But the second inning was his downfall, as the Angels took what he offered, a couple of off-speed pitches were hit pretty good, starting with his 74 mph curveball that Jared Walsh deposited over the right field wall, and his 77 mph curve that Phil Gosselin got a hold of for a RBI single.

In between those two, David Fletcher doubled home a pair of runs on a 82 mph slider. Not surprisingly, those three pitches were among the four slowest Irvin threw in the inning.

“I just need to get on my fastball a little bit sooner,” Irvin said. “Sean (Murphy) and I talked in between innings and we got back on the fastball. It’s just stuff that is maybe a learning experience.”

The A’s start a three-game series in Seattle on Memorial Day with James Kaprelian trying to make it three straight in a matchup with Logan Gilbert at 1:10pm.

Yaz’ two run homer helps Giants split with Bucs 4-1; Wood’s win now 5-0 for SF

San Francisco Giants pitcher Alex Wood delivers a first inning pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates line up at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Sun May 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jessica Kwong

The San Francisco Giants were not about to let the Pittsburgh Pirates take the series on Sunday afternoon. After allowing the Pirates walk-off victories on Friday and Saturday, the Giants with Alex Wood pitching six innings and maintaining his perfect record beat Pittsburgh 4-1 to split the four-game series at PNC Park.

Wood (6-0) gave up one run, struck out six and walked one. Mike Yastrzemski hit a two-run homer to right-center field off David Bednar in the ninth inning to boost San Francisco’s lead to 4-1. Yastrzemski’s play sealing the Giants’ victory came after he missed Saturday’s game due to side soreness.

In the first inning, San Francisco scored a run on a grounder. Pirates outfielder Ka’ai Tom tied the game in the fourth with a sacrifice fly.

Buster Posey had three hits as well as a walk. Evan Longoria had a single off Mitch Keller in the sixth inning and broke the tie with a run on a wild pitch by reliever Clay Holmes.

Giants sidearmer Tyler Rogers allowed no runs in the ninth inning and nabbed his fourth save. But San Francisco left a runner on base in every inning except the last one and stranded 10.

The difference between Friday and Saturday, versus Sunday, was that Caleb Baragar, Rogers and Matt Wisler did what the relievers in the two losses could not.

With a 24-16 record, the Giants still lead the NL West.

San Francisco on Sunday also reinstated Alex Dickerson from the injured list and optioned LaMonte Wade Jr to the Sacramento River Cats. Brandon Belt, who has been experiencing side tightness, was scratched.

The Giants continue their road trip on Monday with the first of a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. First pitch is at 3:40 p.m.