Giants Vs. Pirates: San Francisco Wins Series Against Pittsburgh, Can't Manage Sweep

The Giants have completed their first 2012 homestand after playing their first six games on the road. For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Pirates Final Score: San Francisco Evokes 2011 Offense In 4-1 Loss

On Sunday, the San Francisco Giants were hoping for a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a win for their starting pitcher, the returning Ryan Vogelsong. In the end, they got neither, as Vogelsong became the hard-luck loser in a 4-1 Pirates victory.

The offense for much of the game resembled what fans saw time after time in 2011; the Giants struggling to get runners aboard and struggling even more to get those runs home against a less-than-overwhelming opposing pitcher. The Giants hit ground balls aplenty against starter Kevin Correia and generally looked punchless as they failed again and again to get run support for Vogelsong.

The Pirates struck first in the top of the second inning. Garrett Jones hit a leadoff home run and Alex Presley got a two-out single to bring home Neil Walker. The two-run Pirates lead would have been no big deal, had the Giants offense not looked so woefully inept for the duration of the game. The only run the Giants managed to score came in the top of the fifth. Brandon Belt doubled on a ball hit off the glove of leaping Pirates first baseman Jones. He hustled to second ahead of the throw from right field, but replays showed he was clearly out at second. Belt scored following two groundouts, the second of which gave an RBI to Emmanuel Burriss.

Vogelsong himself had a great outing, giving up just those two runs in 6.1 innings on four hits and three walks, while striking out seven. He failed to get a strike called that resulted in a walk in the seventh inning and looked livid when manager Bruce Bochy subsequently pulled him from the game. Dan Otero loaded the bases but got himself out of the jam. The following inning, Dan Otero would give up two runs, one of which came as the result of a costly Pablo Sandoval error.

The Giants managed just five hits in the game. Brandon Belt's much-hyped fourth start of the season ended in a 1-for-3 day with a double, a run and a ninth-inning leadoff walk and stolen base that ultimately proved uneventful. Perhaps importantly for Belt, he didn't strike out in the game.

For more on the San Francisco Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles, for more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, head to Bucs Dugout, and for more updates on the series, follow SB Nation Bay Area's StoryStream.

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Giants Vs. Pirates Game 3 Lineups: Brandon Belt Gets Another Chance

The San Francisco Giants will attempt to end their first AT&T Park series of 2012 with a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. Giants starting pitching has looked excellent in the first two games on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, Ryan Vogelsong will make his return as the Giants attempt to climb above .500 for the first time this season.

The game will also feature a rare start by Brandon Belt, the Giants fan favorite who has seemed to be the victim of a perpetual runaround since Opening Day of 2011. He'll get a chance to shine on Sunday, but it could be more bad news for him if he is unable to produce. This will be his first start in five games.

San Francisco Giants Starting Lineup:

1. Angel Pagan - CF
2. Melky Cabrera - LF
3. Pablo Sandoval - 3B
4. Buster Posey - C
5. Nate Schierholtz - RF
6. Brandon Belt - 1B
7. Brandon Crawford - SS
8. Emmanuel Burriss - 2B
9. Ryan Vogelsong - RHP

Pittsburgh Pirates Starting Lineup:

1. Alex Presley - LF
2. Jose Tabata - RF
3. Andrew McCutchen - CF
4. Garrett Jones - 1B
5. Neil Walker - 2B
6. Pedro Alvarez - 3B
7. Clint Barmes - SS
8. Michael McKenry - C
9. Kevin Correia - RHP

For more on the San Francisco Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles, for more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, head to Bucs Dugout, and for more updates on the series, follow SB Nation Bay Area's StoryStream.

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Giants Vs. Pirates Game 3 Preview: Keeping An Eye On The Closer(s)

So, the San Francisco Giants picked up a big win on Saturday, in the wake of the news that Brian Wilson is likely to be lost for the entirety of the season due to surgery on his elbow. It definitely hurts the Giants, but they survived without him just fine against the Pittsburgh Pirates in game two of a three-game set on Saturday, when the team walked out of AT&T Park with a 4-3 walkoff win. Santiago Casilla handled the pitching duties after Barry Zito was finished through seven, and all in all, it was a very simple affair.

Check off one game without Wilson. Quite a few more to go, but the Giants have the staff to be just fine without him. They're 4-4 on the season now, and are looking to sweep the Pirates in game three. It could be a tough one, though, as they'll be starting Ryan Vogelsong for the first time this season. He's done well in his rehab starts, but who knows what he's going to look like out there?

He'll be up against Kevin Correia for Pittsburgh, who has allowed one run and four hits with three strikeouts and two walks in six innings thus far this season. The Giants are trying to climb above .500 and fully recover from the three-game sweep at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks at the start of the season.

The next week should be pretty telling for the Giants. We'll see how Bruce Bochy uses Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo to make up for the absence of Wilson, and we'll see if Brandon Belt actually gets some playing time, as opposed to a teasing cameo near the end of Saturday's game.

Game three is set for 1:05 p.m. Pacific on Sunday.

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Giants Vs. Pirates Game 2 Final Score: Giants Get To .500 With 4-3 Walkoff Win

The San Francisco Giants hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night in the second game of their opening homestand. Barry Zito got the start, his first since his dazzling complete-game shutout at Coors Field, and ended up with his second straight quality start to begin his 2012 season. The Giants needed some theatrics and lucky breaks, but they ended up winning their third straight game and improving to 4-4 on the season with a walkoff 4-3 win.

The Pirates jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning, with a string of two-out hits and a walk that culminated in a two-RBI single by Neil Walker. The Giants were able to tie the game for Zito in the bottom of the second inning on a Nate Schierholtz RBI triple. Emmanuel Burriss brought Schierholtz home with a single.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Pirates would plate a go-ahead run on an error by Pablo Sandoval, one of the Giants' three errors in the game (two by Sandoval). Sandoval was able to achieve a measure of redemption in the bottom of the inning by driving in Angel Pagan with a single. Pagan's triple to set up his scoring the tying run was one of his two hits in the game.

Zito went seven innings in the game, giving up the three runs (only two earned) on six hits and one walk. Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez combined for two scoreless innings to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.

Burriss singled to lead off the home half of the ninth, with Brandon Belt waiting on deck. When Burriss reached, Belt was called back as Bruce Bochy opted to go with Ryan Theriot, who tried to bunt Burriss to second base but after fouling off his first two bunt attempts, had to swing away. The gambit worked, as Theriot singled Burriss to third. The Pirates then elected to intentionally walk Angel Pagan in order to load the bases with no outs and set up the force, bringing up Melky Cabrera. Cabrera had been 0-for-3 on the night but had made good contact and had drawn a walk. Cabrera got ahead in the count 2-0, but fouled off three straight pitches and took a low pitch to run the count full. With the AT&T Park crowd chanting "MELKY," Cabrera grounded sharply to short. Shortstop Clint Barmes fielded the ball and went home, but his throw was low and bounced past the glove of catcher Rod Barajas as Burriss scored the winning run.

The Giants will go for the sweep on Sunday.

For more on the San Francisco Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles, for more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, head to Bucs Dugout, and for more updates on the series, follow SB Nation Bay Area's StoryStream.

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Giants Vs. Pirates: Game 2 Lineups

The San Francisco Giants won their home opener on Friday in a 5-0 shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in AT&T Park and they're looking to take the three-game series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. (PT). The lineups for game two have been announced and according to the Baseball Press, they are:

Pirates:

1. Alex Presley (L) LF
2. Jose Tabata (R) RF
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Casey McGehee (R) 1B
5. Rod Barajas (R) C
6. Neil Walker (S) 2B
7. Josh Harrison (R) 3B
8. Clint Barmes (R) SS
9. Charlie Morton (R) P

Giants:

1. Angel Pagan (S) CF
2. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
3. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
4. Aubrey Huff (L) 1B
5. Hector Sanchez (S) C
6. Nate Schierholtz (L) RF
7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
8. Emmanuel Burriss (S) 2B
9. Barry Zito (L) P

For more on the San Francisco Giants, head to McCovey Chronicles, for more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, head to Bucs Dugout, and for more updates on the series, follow SB Nation Bay Area's StoryStream.

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Giants vs. Pirates: Preview, Start Time, TV Coverage And More

The San Francisco Giants have gotten off to a decent start in 2012, relying heavily on pitching and timely hitting to do so. While some guys like Tim Lincecum have struggled a bit, Barry Zito pitched the best game of his tenure with the club last Monday at Coors Field. The veteran southpaw threw nine scoreless innings, allowing just four hits.

He and the Giants will face the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday evening from AT&T Park. They are sending Charlie Morton to the mound, who will be making his first start of the young season. Pittsburgh has struggled offensively to this point in the season, ranking near the bottom of the league in on-base percentage and slugging.

As for Saturday's game, first pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. in San Francisco. That's 10:10 p.m. on the east coast. CSN Bay Area will broadcast the game live. KNBR 680-AM will provide the radio coverage in the Bay Area.

For more on the Giants, check out McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants vs Pirates: Matt Cain Throws 1-Hit Complete Game To Win SF Home Opener

Matt Cain got the Giants off on the right foot in their home opener on Friday afternoon by throwing a 1-hit complete game, shutting out the visiting Pirates as San Francisco rolled to a 5-0 win. Cain struck out 11 and walked none, and was one 6th inning single by - ironically, opposing pitcher James McDonald - away from a perfect game.

First baseman Aubrey Huff went 2 for 3, including an 8th inning two-run shot. He had 3 RBIs on the day. Left fielder Melky Cabrera had two hits and two runs for the Giants, who improve to 3-4 on the year.

Pirates starting picture James McDonald went 5 and 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, three earned runs, and issued three walks. He struck out one, and picked up the loss with little help from his offense. The Pirates fall to 2-5 on the very young season.

Full boxscore here.

Fore more on the Giants, make sure you head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Pirates: Starting Lineups, TV Times, Radio Coverage & More

It’s felt like forever since the San Francisco Giants started their season in Arizona last week, as fans have been waiting with faded breath for the Black and Orange to return to the Bay. But they’re finally here at long last, taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates at AT&T Park.

Aubrey Huff will get the start at first base after sitting on Thursday against the lefty Jaime Moyer, while Brandon Belt will ride the pine again as Nate Schierholtz gets the start in right field. Buster Posey will be in the squat batting clean up, while Emmanuel Burriss gets the start at second base, batting eighth.

San Francisco Giants Lineup:

1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Melky Cabrera LF
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Aubrey Huff 1B
6. Nate Schierholtz RF
7. Brandon Crawford SS
8. Emmanuel Burriss 2B
9. Matt Cain P

Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup:

1. Alex Presley LF
2. Neil Walker 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen CF
4. Casey McGehee 1B
5. Garrett Jones RF
6. Rod Barajas C
7. Pedro Alvarez 3B
8. Josh Harrison SS
9. James McDonald P

First pitch is set for 1:35 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM in and around the Bay Area, while you can listen on KDKA-FM 93.7 in the Pittsburgh area.

Fore more on the Giants, make sure you head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Pirates Series Preview: Matt Cain Looks For First Victory In Home Opener At AT&T Park

The Giants are ready to kick of the 2012 season at home after playing their first six games on the road. For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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