Today was Jackie Robinson day around the majors, with every player, manager, and coach wearing number 42 to honor the man who broke the color barrier in baseball. The Bucs looked to salvage the last game of the series and avoid the sweep, sending road-warrior Kevin Correia out to pitch. Former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong took the mound for the Giants, making his first start of the year.
Both teams went down 1-2-3 in the first, although Andrew McCutchen did get robbed of a possible triple against the wall that probably would have been out at PNC Park. Garrett Jones led off the second inning with a towering homer that just cleared the right field wall, putting the Bucs up 1-0. Neil Walker singled to left, giving the Pirates two hits in a row. After Pedro Alvarez struck out, Clint Barmes singled and Michael McKenry walked to load the bases. After the infield fly rule was called on a Kevin Correia pop up, Alex Presley beat out an infield single to make it 2-0 Pirates. Correia set the Giants down 1-2-3 again in the second, and Cutch led off the third with a walk. He was promptly caught stealing, followed by a Jones strikeout and a Walker groundout to end the inning.
Correia’s perfect game was broken up with a leadoff single in the third, but he got out of the inning with a runner on second. In the fourth, Alvarez and Barmes both hit the ball right on the nose, but right at Giants fielders. Correia once again set the Giants down in order in the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the fifth, Brandon Belt led off with a double, followed by back to back ground outs by Brandon Crawford and Emmanuel Burriss to make it 2-1. Correia got out of a first and second jam in the sixth after giving up a hit to Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey reaching on a error, keeping the game at 2-1.
Jose Tabata came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh for the second time in the game, and struck out swinging. For the second time in the game, he left the bases loaded. Jared Hughes came out for the bottom of the inning, and gave up a one out double to Brandon Crawford. The next batter grounded to the right side, moving Crawford to third with two outs. Hughes got pinch hitter Aubrey Huff to fly out, ending the threat and keeping the lead.
Cutch and Casey McGehee led off the eight with back to back singles, followed by a Neil Walker bunt that Sandoval threw over the first baseman’s head. Cutch scored, making it 3-1. Josh Harrison then pinch hit for Pedro, and the Bucs executed the squeeze play to perfection, putting them up 4-1. Jason Grilli came in to get the ball to the Hammer in the ninth, and gave up a leadoff triple to Angel Pagan. He got the next batter to ground out to first, but Pagan didn’t score. Grilli then walked Sandoval, putting runners on the corner for Buster Posey. Grilli froze Buster, then got a flyout to end the inning and leave two runners on base. Joel Hanrahan came on to pitch the ninth and get the save, and gave up a leadoff walk. After getting a flyout, the runner moved up to second on a ball in the dirt. It was apparent that Hanrahan didn’t have his best control, as he then walked Emmanuel Burriss to put runners on first and second. Two flyouts later, the Jolly Roger was raised and the Bucs got their first road win of the year.
– Kevin Correia’s final stat line was 6IP, 3H, 1ER, 1BB, 2 K.
– The Pirates drew five total walks, and McKenry had three and Cutch and Presley each had one.
– Tabata left a total of six guys on base, and the team left 16 runners on base as a whole.
– The bullpen continued to pitch extremely well, getting scoreless innings from Hughes, Grilli, and Hanrahan.
Star of the Game: Kevin Correia, Jared Hughes, Jason Grilli, and Joel Hanrahan. The pitching staff was once again dominant, starting with Correia and ending with the bullpen. The Giants only got one run on five hits, and the bullpen did a great job to get out of a few jams.
Goat of the Game: Jose Tabata. Not only did he go 0-5, but he left seven runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded twice. Even though the Pirates won, Tabata needs to take advantage of RBI opportunities when he gets them. He is now hitting .133 on the season.
Pirates (3-6) – Giants (4-6)
Win: Correia (1-0)
Loss: Vogelsong (0-1)
Save: Hanrahan (1)