The Pirates take another big lead, as the Giants rally in the eighth with five runs to win the series

The San Francisco Giants survived six innings against Paul Skines and three home runs, including a grand slam by their former first-round pick Joey Bart, before reaching the Pittsburgh Pirates’ weak spot.

The beleaguered bullpen blew a huge lead for the second straight game, surrendering five runs in the eighth inning as the Giants rallied for a 7-6 victory Thursday afternoon before 23,162 at PNC Park to clinch the three-game series.

It was the first time since 1998 that the Giants had won consecutive games trailing by four or more runs since doing so by beating Milwaukee (8-7) on April 26 and the Pirates (6-5) the next day.

The Giants had never accomplished that feat on the road, but they did against the Pirates despite giving up grand slams in both games.

“Very disappointing,” Buccaneers manager Derek Shelton said. “We have to finish games this way.”

The Pirates wasted a good start on Skines, who allowed one run on six hits and one walk while striking out three in his third career start, drawing 13 whiffs in 50 swings and a dozen strikeouts required in throwing 62 of 93 pitches for strikes.

Skines reached 100 mph on his fastball four times — all in the first inning — and found that he was more efficient getting weak contact, as evidenced by the eight groundouts he generated against just three flies.

“I wish it was a little more,” Skines said. “We had a couple of long innings, but there’s going to be those plays. I thought I did that and put the team in the best position to win. That’s the game within the game a little bit with the pitching.”

The Pirates provided run support for Skenes, with a leadoff homer by Andrew McCutchen, a bunt by Bart and an insurance homer by Bryan Reynolds to build a 6-2 lead.

See also  Josh Donaldson hands over to New York Yankees as Grand Slam exit in 10th inning

They were dangerously thin in the bullpen, after using five relievers in Wednesday’s 10-inning 9-5 loss. To add depth, they called up left-hander Jose Hernandez and optioned struggling slugger Jack Sowinski to Triple-A Indianapolis before the game.

Hernandez replaced Skines in the seventh inning but gave up a leadoff single to Heliot Ramos to make it 5-2. Reynolds answered with one of his own, as Luke Jackson’s 1-1 fastball drove 401 feet to right for his seventh home run and the Pirates took a 6-2 lead into the seventh.

For the second straight game, the Giants rallied late. After Hunter Stratton gave up a single to LaMonte Wade Jr. And Thairo Estrada, Matt Chapman hit a 1-1 slider 409 feet into the visiting bullpen for a three-run homer to cut it to 6-5. Jorge Soler doubled to the right field wall and scored one down the right field line on pinch hitter Wilmer Flores to tie the game.

The Pirates lifted Stratton in favor of lefty Aroldis Chapman, and runner Marco Luciano took advantage of a wild pitch to advance to second and a passed ball to reach third before Brett Wesley’s single up the middle scored to give the Giants a 7-6 lead. .

“It’s troubling,” Shelton said. “Our bullpen has to be better. 5-1 lead yesterday, 6-2 lead today? We have to be better. Our bullpen has to be better. We have to win games like this.”

By contrast, San Francisco relied on the bullpen using left-handed reliever Eric Miller as the opener. Andrew McCutchen hit Miller’s 1-0 fastball 395 feet toward the north side of the slot, where Giants center fielder Luis Matos nearly stole it before the ball exited his glove when it hit the wall. It was McCutcheon’s third home run of the season, 13th with the Buccaneers and 25th of his career.

See also  How to watch Aaron Rodgers' Jets vs. Giants tonight

Nick Gonzalez led off the second inning with a triple from the center field wall but was stranded when Miller got Jared Triolo out to short and Rudy Tellez looked on a full-count fastball up the middle. Mason Black relieved Miller and pushed Bart out.

Skenes hit his first three runs despite giving up three singles, thanks to a pair of double plays. In the fourth, he was ahead in the count before walking Estrada and Chapman’s single to right put runners on at the corners. Soler dropped back to third, as Triolo threw to second on the force but Gonzalez was unable to convert the double play, allowing Estrada to score the tying run.

The pirate answered in a big way. Connor Joe drew a leadoff walk, Gonzalez worked a full walk and Triolo was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Rudy Tellez swung at Black’s first pitch and out to left, Bart took the ball and then crushed a 434-foot fastball off the batter’s eye to center for his first grand slam and a 5-1 lead.

“I definitely felt good,” Bart said. “It’s nice to level the playing field like that, and do all the work. You dream about turnovers and situations like that. So, it was pretty cool.”

His appearance against the Giants, who drafted him No. 2 overall in 2018, didn’t matter to Bart.

“I don’t know, man, I’ll take any hit I take,” said Bart, who has four homers in 21 games with the Buccaneers since they were acquired in an April 2 trade. “Any home run, any base hit, anything. It doesn’t matter who we play.”

It was the fourth grand slam of the season for the Pirates, with Jack Sowinski hitting a home run on April 14 in Philadelphia, Edward Olivares on May 6 against the Los Angeles Angels and Brian Reynolds on Wednesday against the Giants. It was the seventh time since 1900 but the first time since 2000 that the Pirates had hit the grand slam in back-to-back games.

See also  FIFA has suspended the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, over a row over his kiss with the Women's World Cup winner.

Bart also became the first Pirates catcher to hit a grand slam since Jacob Stallings against Edwin Diaz in an upset win over the New York Mets on July 17, 2021. Bart was ejected in the eighth inning by first baseman Alex Tosi after arguing. Call on a groundout to third.

Ji Hwan Bae led off the ninth by reaching on an error by shortstop Marco Luciano but was thrown out trying to steal second base when Luciano tagged to his torso before he could reach the bag. This prevented Bey from being in scoring position on the ensuing single to left field by Reynolds. But Joe came out in foul territory to end the game.

“It goes back to being really frustrating,” Shelton said. “We’re starting to get better at bats. We had some chances that we didn’t take but we kept going. Brian hit a homer to make it a four-run game, which is a pretty exhausting game anyway, so it gives us a little bit of a boost and then we can’t hold the lead. We have to Our barn will be better.”

Kevin Gorman is a TribLive reporter covering the Pirates. The Baldwin native and Penn State graduate joined the Trib in 1999 and covered high school sports, football and basketball and was a sports columnist for 10 years. He can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *