That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: White Sox surprised Yanks Donaldson got just a one day suspension; Cardinals Molina out for bereavement after pitching Sunday

New York Yankees Josh Donaldson (left) and manager Aaron Boone (right) talk during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guarantee Rate Field in Chicago on Sun May 22, 2022 (AP News)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 MLB suspended New York Yankees Josh Donaldson one game for making a Jackie Robinson reference to Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson on Saturday. Donaldson after the game in New York made the Jackie Robinson reference and said he meant no disrespect but White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz was surprised that he only got one day.

#2 The Jackie Robinson reference was an undertone a dog whistle to Anderson who is black and Donaldson is white player. Donaldson said that he was joking around in the past with Anderson about the Robinson reference when Anderson said he feels like today’s Jackie Robinson.

#3 Amaury, Sunday the St Louis Cardinals pitcher Yadier Molina who pitched in relief giving up two home runs and four runs after the Cardinals swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in four games at PNC Park. The Cardinals have placed Molina on the bereavement list the reason for the bereavement was not disclosed.

#4 The San Francisco Giants are coming off losing a three game sweep against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park. The Giants also lost first baseman Brandon Belt to the 10 day IL for an inflamed right knee. Giants manager Gabe Kapler said the team is still in good shape.

#5 The Oakland A’s have lost seven of their last ten games and have lost two of three to the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend including Sunday’s 4-1 loss. A’s pitcher Cole Irvin lost the contest and the A’s are not getting any run support.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the lead Spanish play by play announcer for the Oakland A’s on flagship station Le Grande KIQI 1010 San Francisco and does News and Commentary at

San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Has Gausman run out of gas, concerns in most recent outings

San Francisco Giants number one starter Kevin Gausman seen in a previous game has struggled in his last two outings including Saturday night at Oracle Park on Sat Jul 24, 2021 against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates (Mercury News file photo)

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Marko for Morris:

#1 San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman was all the rage going into the All Star Break with a record of 9-2 he was the ace of the Giants pitching staff and is the number one starter. But his last two games have been rough particularly his last start on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates were he got lit up in four plus innings for eight hits and six runs.

#2 In his first loss last Monday the Dodgers scored six runs and eight hits off Gausman in over four innings of work identical numbers of his work on Saturday night against the Pirates.

#3 Gausman’s splitter was dropping and he didn’t have Pirate hitters hitting off balance like he did in his previous wins. He didn’t have his old effectiveness and also didn’t throw as many splits. Could Gausman be hurting, is his mechanics off?

#4 Gausman’s wife Taylor was giving birth and experienced complications and Gausman had to take emergency family leave to be with Taylor in Louisiana that could also be on Gausman’s mind as well.

#5 The Giants have Monday off and host the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco. The two clubs last met last week and the Giants took three out of four in LA. After this rough Pirates series could the tide change in the upcoming series on Tuesday?

Marko Ukalovic filled in for Morris Phillips who does the Giants podcasts each Monday at

Wade, Jr. goes deep twice in Giants win over Bucs 6-1

San Francisco Giants LaMonte Wade Jr (31) rounds first and looks back at first base coach Antoan Richardson (right) after hitting a third inning home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sun Jul 25, 2021 at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-After losing the first two games of the series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Francisco Giants got some big hits when it was needed the most.

LaMonte Wade, Jr., hit two home runs in his first two at-bats, helping the Giants to a 6-1 victory over the Pirates before a crowd of 30,303 at Oracle Park.

Wilmer Flores also went deep for the Giants, who have hit a major league leading 151 home runs on the season.

Alex Wood went 5.1 innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking two and striking out eight on his way to ninth win of the season for the Giants.

The Pirates got to Wood in the top of the first inning, as Bryan Reynolds singled with two outs and then John Nogowski followed that up with a double that easily scored Reynolds that gave the Pirates the lead before the Giants first appearance at the plate.

That lead lasted one batter into the bottom of the first inning, as Wade, Jr., hit a JT Brubaker pitch into the centerfield seats to tie up the game at one.

Wade, Jr., gave the Giants the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning, as he launched his second home run in as many at-bats and his 12th of the season. It was the first multi-home run game of Wades career.

Wade ended up going 3-for-5 on the afternoon, as he also added a double in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The Giants broke the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Giants scored three runs and Flores got it started when he lined a Duane Underwood, Jr., pitch down the left field line and over the 339 mark to extend the lead up to 4-1. Steven Duggar then followed it up with a double, and then Thairo Estrada singled, which sent Duggar to third base.

When Estrada stole second base, the throw by Jacob Stallings sailed into centerfield that allowed Duggar to score from third base and Estrada moved up to third base.

Estrada then scored the final run of the inning, when Curt Casali singled with one out.

Nick Mears gave the fourth home run of the afternoon, as Estrada hit his third home run of the season, just over the outstretched glove of Reynolds in centerfield.

The Giants bullpen of Jay Jackson, Jarlin Garcia, Tyler Rogers and Jake McGee pitched a perfect final 3.2 innings, where the quartet did not allow a baserunner to reach base.

Jackson came up with the biggest stop of the game in the top of the sixth inning, as Wood loaded the bases with one out; however, Jackson came on to get Kevin Newman to ground into a double play that ended the inning and the threat.

Adam Frazier was replaced at second base by Wilmer Difo in the bottom of the eighth inning, and then it was learned that Frazier along with cash was traded to the San Diego Padres for Michael Milliano, Jack Suwinski and Tucupita Marcano.

NOTES: With four more home runs on Sunday, the Giants have now hit 151 home runs on the season, passing the Toronto Blue Jays for the most home runs in Major League Baseball during the 2021 season.

Eight different players have reached the double figures in home runs this season for the Giants, and two players have nine home runs. The eight players are: Brandon Crawford, Mike Yastrzemski, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Flores, Darin Ruf, Alex Dickerson and Wade, Jr., while both Evan Longoria and Austin Slater each have nine home runs.

The Giants record for most players in double figures in home runs in a season is nine, which was accomplished in 1952, 1958, 1987 and 2000.

Following a loss, the Giants are now 25-12 and 62-37 overall, the best in the majors on both records

Al Michaels, who broadcasted games for the Giants in 1974 was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier today as the 45th winner of the Ford C. Frick Award.

UP NEXT: After an off-day on Monday, the Giants will begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, when Logan Webb will take the mound for the Giants, while Julio Urias will take the mound for the Dodgers.

Gausman shelled in 10-2 loss

All San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman could do leaving the mound in the fifth inning on Sat Jul 24, 2021 is talk in the glove after the Pittsburgh Pirates shelled him at Oracle Park. Giants manager Gabe Kapler in black jacket calls for a new pitcher (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

After getting off to a great start during the 2021 season, it seems that San Francisco Giants (61-37) pitcher Kevin Gausman is in a kind of rut.

Gausman lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out two, as the Pittsburgh Pirates (38-60) made it two wins in a row after a 10-2 victory over the Giants at Oracle Park.

This is the second start in a row that Gausman, who was going for his 10th win of the season could not get past the fifth inning in a start.

In his previous start against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night at Dodger Stadium, Gausman lasted just three innings, two runs (both on home runs), walked three and struck out five and did not fare in the decision.

Pirates starter Wil Crowe went the first 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, walking one and striking out nine on his way to his second win of the season.

The Pirates got to Gausman in the top of the first inning, as they loaded the bases with nobody out, and then Gregory Polanco hit a sacrifice fly to Alex Dickerson in left field that scored Adam Frazier from third base after Frazier led off the inning with a single to centerfield, then went to second on a wild pitch by Gausman.

After KeBryan Hayes walked, Bryan Reynolds also drew a walk against Gausman that loaded the bases and then Polanco drove in Frazier with his sacrifice fly to left field.

Once again, the Pirates loaded the bases, as John Nogowski reached on a fielders choice and Jason Vosler committed a fielding error.

Gausman was able to get out of the inning and the jam, as he induced Ben Gamel to hit into a double play.

Thairo Estrada got the Giants on the board in the bottom of the second inning, as he grounded into a double play that scored Wilmer Flores from third base to tie up the game.

Flores singled to lead off the inning when he singled off of Crowe and then went to third on a Vosler single, and then scored the tying run on the Estrada double play.

The Pirates took the lead for good in the top of the third inning, when Polanco picked up his second RBI of the game, as he drove in Reynolds with the tie-breaking run. Gamel then added to the lead, as he singled Polanco.

Polanco added his third RBI of the evening in the top of the fifth inning, as he hit his 11th home run of the season.

Kevin Newman broke the game wide open, as he hit a two-run single, when he singled to centerfield that scored both Nogowski and Gamel to give the Pirates a five-run lead.

LaMonte Wade, Jr., became the eighth different Giants player to reach double figures in home runs, as he hit his 10th home run of the season off of Crowe in the bottom of the season.

Michael Perez added to the lead in the top of the eighth inning, as tripled in Newman, who singled to lead off the inning. Wilmer Difo came off the bench to pinch-hit for former Giants pitcher Chris Stratton and hit a sacrifice fly to score Perez from third base.

Frazier then doubled following the Difo sacrifice fly, and after Hayes lined out to Steven Duggar for the second out. Reynolds then singled to right field to score Frazier from second base.

Mike Tauchman came on to pitch the final inning for the Giants, as the outfielder made his first ever appearance on the mound, as he pitched one inning, allowing one run on three hits.

Tauchman allowed a single to Newman put the final touches on the scoring, as he singled in the top of the ninth inning off of Tauchman to score Nogowski, who led off the inning with a double.

NOTES: After being out of the broadcast booth since June 6, when the Giants lost to the Chicago Cubs at Oracle Park, Duane Kuiper made a surprise return to the booth and shocked his longtime broadcast partner Mike Krukow.

Kuiper, 71 is undergoing chemotherapy for an undisclosed condition came back to Oracle Park to broadcast a game.

In his first game in almost seven weeks, Kuiper spoke with Greg Papa on Giants Pregame Live and said.

“Hey, I missed me. Sorry,” Kuiper said. “Sitting on that couch after a while, my wife is so happy that I walked out of the house today, where she gets six hours where she doesn’t have to worry about me tripping or falling or what I’m going to eat or what’s going on. Anyway, I’m thrilled to be back, and the one thing I definitely learned while I was gone, for whatever it was, two months or so, is how much I appreciate my partners because I got a chance to watch them for all those games, and I certainly do appreciate them.”

UP NEXT: Alex Wood takes the Oracle Park mound on Sunday afternoon, as he looks for his ninth win of the season. The Pirates will send JT Brubaker to the hill, as he looks for his fifth win of the season.

Bad fielding cost Giants game; SF’s Wade Jr’s miscue allows two runs in Bucs 6-4 win at Oracle

The San Francisco Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr (center) can’t get a handle on the ball that allowed two runs to score as Giants pitcher Jarlin Garcia (66) and Donovan Salano (right) watch after the Pittsburgh Pirates Ben Gamel hit the ball in the seventh inning (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

After amazing back-to-back victories over the reigning World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, the San Francisco Giants (61-36) could not make it three in a row.

Adam Frazier walked with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning that scored Jacob Stallings from third base, as the Pittsburgh Pirates (37-60) defeated the Giants 6-4 at Oracle Park.

Stallings walked to lead off the inning against Dominic Leone, then Kevin Newman reached on a fielders choice and pinch-hitter Wilmer Difo walked to load the bases.

Following the Frazier walk that scored Frazier, KeBryan Hayes grounded into a force out that saw Newman thrown out at the plate for the first out of the inning.

Jarlin Garcia came on to replace Leone and got Bryan Reynolds to strike out looking for the second out of the inning.

It looked like the Giants were going get out of the inning with just one run allowed; however, LaMonte Wade, Jr., was unable to field a ball hit for an error on a ball hit by Ben Gamel that scored Difo and Frazier to extend the lead up to 6-3.

Gregory Polanco hit a triple to right field in the top of the second inning that scored Gamel to give the Pirates an early 1-0 lead.

The run-scoring triple gave the Pirates the lead and Reynolds extended the lead in the top of the third inning, as he hit his 18th home run, a two-run home run that upped the lead to 3-0 for the visitors from Pittsburgh.

Steven Duggar got the Giants on the board in the bottom of the third inning, as he hit his seventh home run of the season.

Johnny Cueto then walked and stole second base when Wade, Jr., struck out and it was the first career stolen base for Cueto.

Unfortunately, Cueto did not fare in the decision, as he went five innings, giving up three runs on three hits, walked just one and struck out seven before giving way to John Brebbia.

Alex Dickerson tied up the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he hit his 10th home run of the season. Buster Posey scored in front of Dickerson, as he doubled off of Pirates starter Chad Kuhl. Following the home run by Dickerson, Kuhl was replaced by former Giants pitcher Chris Stratton.

Donovan Solano treated the former Giants pitcher rudely, as he walked and after Jason Vosler struck out for the second out of the inning, Thairo Estrada singled Solano to third; however, Stratton was able to Duggar to end the threat.

Kuhl pitched 5.1 innings and like Cueto did not fare in the decision. In those 5.1 innings of work, Kuhl allowed three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out eight.

Darin Ruf walked with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and went to second on defensive indifference. Wade, Jr., then tripled to right field that scored Ruf from second base; however, Mike Yastrzemski struck out looking to end the game.

NOTES: Over the last two nights, the Giants came from behind in the 9th inning or later to defeat the Dodgers, winning 4-2 on Wednesday and 5-3 last night…according to Elias, it’s the first time the Giants won back-to-back games while trailing in the 9th inning or later since April 8-9, 2011 vs. St. Louis…the last time they did it against the Dodgers was August 9-10, 2008.
With Duggar and Dickersons home runs, the Giants have now hit 146 home runs on the season, as they passed the Toronto Blue Jays for the most home runs in the major leagues.

Prior to Cuetos stolen base in the bottom of the third inning, the last pitcher to steal a base for the Giants was Kirk Rueter against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 29, 2003 at what was then called Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix.

The Giants have signed their first-round pick in the 2021 First-Year Player Draft, as Will Bednar, the 14th overall selection out of Mississippi State is now a member of the Giants. Bednar helped lead the Bulldogs to their first-ever national championship after defeating SEC rival and defending champion Vanderbilt in the College World Series in Omaha.

A native of the Pittsburgh-area, Bednar, who went Mars Area High School, does family have in the ballpark, as his older brother David is in the opposing dugout, as he is a reliever for the Pirates.

UP NEXT: Kevin Gausman takes the mound on Saturday night, as he attempts to win his 10th game of the season for the Giants. While the Pirates will send Wil Crowe to the hill, as he looks for his second win of 2021.

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

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: MLB Time to Retire 21

The late great Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente (21) doffs his cap after hitting a double for his 3,000 career hit at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh against the New York Mets pitcher Jon Matlack on the last day of the season September 30, 1972 which would be his last career hit he would die three months later in a plane crash. (pinterest file photo)

MLB: Time to Retire No.21

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

In 1997 Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson No.42, it was the first uniform retired in history. Robinson recognized as a historical figure in American sports as the first African-American to play in the major leagues. There are “Retire #21” banners at PNC Park seen in Pittsburgh today, that is regarding the wishes of Pirates fans to have Roberto Clemente’s number retired by Major League Baseball

In 1973, the Pirates retired “El Cometa de Carolina” number 21. One year after Clemente disappeared with the DC-3 chartered plane he was taking to Nicaragua to help the victims of that country’s earthquake. In 1998 the Pirates sold the naming rights to locally based PNC Financial Services, PNC Park.

However, public sentiment in Pittsburgh remained to name the new baseball park after Roberto Clemente, but that was not possible. In 1998 the 6th street bridge, which crosses the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh was renamed the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

To my knowledge, Roberto Clemente is the only player in history to have a bridge dedicated to his name. Makes sense in Pittsburgh a city with three rivers, the Allegheny, Monongahela and the Ohio River. There is little doubt that in Pittsburgh Roberto Clemente was always respected and to date he is one of the city’s heroes.

Although the first Hispanic/Latino ballplayer to play in professional baseball in the US was Esteban Bellán (Cuba) in 1871 with the Troy Haymakers of the old National Association, today the National League. Orestes (Minnie) Miñoso (Cuba) was the first Black Latino player in 1949 with the Cleveland Indians.

But it was Roberto Clemente the very first impact player from Latin America, a Hall of Fame player, who played his whole career of 18 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1955-1972). Roberto Clemente was the first Hispanic/Latino baseball player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY.

The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame ( was founded in 1999 and Roberto Clemente was posthumously inducted in a ceremony where his widow Vera Clemente accepted the induction plaque.

There is a very good case to be made that Major League Baseball should retire No.21. Clemente’s exemplary life, which he gave in helping people from another country during a terrible natural disaster lives forever in the memory of baseball fans everywhere in the world, but especially in Puerto Rico and all of Latin America.

Hispanic/Latino player participation in the major leagues today is around 30 percent of all the players, in the United States. A country where Hispanics represent the largest minority between 18-20% of the population, approximately 60 million people. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States other than English.

Roberto Clemente as a player was often misquoted, many times made fun of his accent, when he said, quote: “Baseball has been very, very good to me” he said it because he was an honest and humble man, traits that politicians do not understand and rarely can relate to. During the years Clemente played, comedian Bill Dana had a routine that became famous and sort of a catchphrase, when he said in mangled English; “My name is….José….Jiménez”

The words equality, diversity are nice words but they ring hollow if there is no action, MLB retiring Roberto Clemente’s #21 is bound to happen, when? is the question. But there is little doubt that Roberto Clemente is a historic figure in baseball that represents the best of all of us. Time to retire No.21.

Note: The first number retired in history, by a major league team, was by the New York Yankees, No.4, Lou Gehrig on July 4, 1939, the day he made his famous; “Today I Consider Myself”….speech. Players numbers among all major league teams have been retired since then. There is a difference. Teams can retire the number of their players and they cannot be used by other players. But only Major League Baseball can retire a number for all 30 teams.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Hispanic Heritage Hall of Fame Museum and does News and Commentary at

San Francisco Giants podcast with Morris Phillips: Giants pitcher Wood keeping opposition off balance

The San Francisco Giants Mauricio Dubon puts on a defensive show by falling over the field signboard to make a catch on the Pittsburgh Pirates Kevin Newman in the fifth inning at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Sun May 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Morrris:

#1 Morris you got to give it to San Francisco Giants (24-16) starter Alex Wood he’s certainly become the ace of not only the Giants but the National League getting a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates (17-23) on Sunday.

#2 In six innings of work Wood gave up eight hits and one earned run and had one of those starts where he looked like he could have pitched the whole game.

#3 Wood’s ERA is now 1.75 and his runs allowed totaled shows what kind of control he’s had and no doubt he’s had a tremendous two months in the starting rotation for the Giants.

#4 The Giants got some handy work on offense with Mike Yastrzemski who hit a two run homer in the ninth inning, catcher Buster Posey had three hits.

#5 Starting pitchers for Monday for the Giants Logan Webb (2-3 ERA 4.74) and for the Cincinnati Reds Sonny Gray (0-2 ERA 3.55)

Join Morris for the Giants podcasts each Monday at

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.

Giants drop second straight game to Bucs 8-6

The Pittsburgh Pirates Jacob Stallings belts a two run home run off San Francisco Giants reliever Jake McGee in the ninth inning at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Sat May 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By London Marq

While the national media have had their eyes glued to Southern California’s National League teams, the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodges, it has been the northerners the San Francisco Giants who have secured the top spot in the Division entering play today.

Leading the West, even at this early stage in the season is an achievement in itself given how stacked the division is. If they can play well now, it will only build momentum for them later in the year when it really counts. The Giants dropped their second straight game to the Pirates on Saturday night 8-6 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

On the road in Pittsburgh, they confidently jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. The Pirates allowed two home runs in the first inning alone. The first, Darin Ruf’s solo shot gave them a one-run lead. A few batters later, Brandon Crawford belted a ball into the right-center bleachers for a two run homer, rounding out the rough start for the Pirates starter, Tyler Anderson

Two innings later with two outs and two men on base, Mauricio Dubon sent a ground ball through the gap and into right field to score Ruf to give the Giants a four run lead 4-0.

The Pirates would have their day however. Playing station-to-station Gonzalez and Tom got hits to push across two RBI’s in the fifth inning to narrow the lead. The Giants would see Tauchman hit yet another two-run homer in the sixth. Despite all the homers and early success, the late success would come from the Pirates.

Behind some clutch hitting and a wild pitch from the Giants Camilo Doval the Pirate snatched four runs in the seventh and tied the game at six a piece. The score would hold and threaten extra innings into the bottom of the ninth. Jacob Stallings hit a two-run walk off home, sending the Giants back to the hotel room for long night of contemplation after blowing a four run lead.

Still leading the NL West by one game, the Giants will have to find a way to get back in the win column to bolster their lead. Tomorrow the Giants play the Pirates for the final game of the four game series. With a win they could tie the series up, and restore some confidence. Either way, they’ll be onto Cincinnati face the Reds on Monday.

Starting pitchers for Sunday for the Giants Alex Wood (4-0 ERA 1.80) for the Pittsburgh Pirates Mitch Keller (2-4 ERA 7.81) a 10:00 AM PDT