Giants Vs. Pirates: Lincecum, Bullpen Rocked In 13-2 Drubbing Before All-Star Break

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Giants Vs. Pirates, Final Score: Tim Lincecum, Giants Bullpen Rocked In 13-2 Loss

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Andrew McCutchen homered twice and knocked in four runs while Neil Walker had five hits, two RBI and four runs scored as the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the San Francisco Giants, 13-2, in the rubber match of a three-game series at PNC Park.

A.J. Burnett (10-2) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks over 6 1/3 innings to become just the fifth Pirates pitcher since 1990 to enter the All- Star break with 10 wins.

He joins Neal Heaton in 1990 (10-5), Randy Tomlin in 1992 (10-5), Bob Walk in 1993 (10-6) and Kevin Correia in 2011 (11-7).

Casey McGehee added three hits and a pair of RBI before leaving the game in the sixth inning with a left groin strain for Pittsburgh, which enters the break having won six of its last seven games and in first place in the NL Central.

Tim Lincecum's (3-10) struggles continued as he surrendered six runs on seven hits and a walk through 3 1/3 innings for the Giants, who head into the break having dropped seven of their last nine.

Pittsburgh started its onslaught in the bottom of the first inning when McCutchen followed Walker's one-out double with a blast over the right-center field wall.

Walker made it a 3-0 game in the third inning with a solo shot to straightaway center field.

The Pirates pulled even further away in the fourth inning after loading the bases with one out on a base hit by McGehee, a walk by Rob Barajas and Clint Barmes' bloop single to shallow center field. Burnett then slapped a base hit up the middle to plate McGehee and knock Lincecum out of the game.

Clay Hensley entered next and gave up a sacrifice fly to Drew Sutton and an RBI single by Walker to give Pittsburgh a 6-0 advantage.

Garrett Jones then singled in the fifth, advanced to third on McGehee's double to right and came home on Barmes' two-out grounder to third that Pablo Sandoval fielded, but unsuccessfully attempted to tag McGehee as he ran to third instead of throwing the ball to first.

Burnett, meanwhile, retired 13 straight batters following Buster Posey's two- out walk in the first inning until Nate Schierholtz led off the sixth with a pinch-hit single.

But Schierholtz would advance no further as Burnett sat down the next three batters and the Pirates increased their lead to 10-0 in the home sixth on McGehee's two-run single and a pair of errors by Ryan Theriot when he first bobbled Alvarez's grounder to second and then threw the ball well over the head of catcher Hector Sanchez, allowing pinch-runner Gorkys Hernandez to score.

Sandoval's two-run homer in the seventh inning got the Giants on the board before McCutchen answered with a two-run home run in the bottom of the frame.

Brad Lincoln's RBI single in the eighth inning capped the scoring.

Game Notes

Walker extended his hit streak to 12 games...Burnett's run-scoring single was his first RBI since August 9, 2005, while with the Marlins. He also extended his unbeaten streak to 12 consecutive starts...Lincecum dropped his fifth straight road decision and fell to 1-2 in five career meetings with Pittsburgh...The Pirates racked up 17 hits, while the Giants had just four.

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Giants Vs. Pirates, Final Score: James McDonald, Bullpen Shut Down G-Men For 3-1 Win

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - James McDonald tossed seven innings of one- run ball to guide the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants in second installment of a three-game set at PNC Park.

McDonald (9-3) struck out 10 and allowed just four hits without walking a batter to win his fourth straight start.

"Getting ahead of guys and being aggressive was my game plan," McDonald said. "Don't be afraid of (anybody) and go right after them. I had good fastball command today and got ahead of a lot of guys. I put them away when I had to."

Neil Walker doubled twice and drove in a run while Michael McKenery and Pedro Alvarez had an RBI apiece for the Pirates, winners in five of their last six.

Jason Grilli struck out the side in the eighth and Joel Hanrahan worked around a lead off bunt-single in the ninth to secure his 23rd save of the season.

Ryan Theriot had a pair of hits and drove in the lone run for San Francisco, which has dropped four of its last five. Gregor Blanco had two hits and scored a run.

Ryan Vogelsong (7-4) was pegged with the loss after giving up three runs on eight hits while fanning five over seven innings.

"Obviously (McDonald) is having a good season," Vogelsong said. "Throwing the ball well so going in you know it is going to be a tough game. He pitched a little bit better than me today."

The Pirates got on the board in the third to take a 1-0 lead. McDonald worked a leadoff walk, then scored when Walker doubled to left-center.

Play was later delayed for 27 minutes with two outs due to rain. Vogelsong was able to get Garret Jones to fly out to end the inning following the delay.

McKenery's solo homer in the fourth pushed the margin to 2-0.

The Giants made it 2-1 in the sixth. Blanco singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored when Theriot singled up the middle.

The Pittsburgh came back with a run of its own in the home half to extend its lead to 3-1. Andrew McCutchen singled and then scored when Alvarez doubled down the left-field line.

Blanco reached on a bunt-single in the ninth, then moved to third on a throwing error by McKenry, but Hanrahan was able to retire the next three hitters to secure the win.

"We want to win every game we can," McKenery said. "At the end of the day if we're in first that's awesome, but we just want to try to win that game that day."

Game Notes

Walker extended his hitting streak to 11 games...The Pirates are 12-2 on Saturdays this season...Pittsburgh has at least one extra-base hit in a season-high 38 consecutive games...The Pirates recalled first baseman Matt Hague from Triple-A Indianapolis and optioned catcher Eric Fryer to Indianapolis before the game...Vogelsong has tossed at least six innings in all 16 of his outings this season...San Francisco is 20-23 on the road this season.

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Giants Adjust Lineup To Show Faith In Lincecum, According To Report

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced that Tim Lincecum will start the second came following the All-Star break, according to a report from CSN Bay Area. That means Lincecum will make his start at home against the Houston Astros, rather than in the following road series against the Atlanta Braves. But the timing wasn't everything, Bochy said:

"He's still our guy. He and Matt and Bum, we want to get those guys out there as much as we can in the second half. Because we think he's going to have a better second half."

Bochy also said that Lincecum has thrown well in practice sessions, and looked better in his last start despite giving up eight earned runs. That's a career high, but Lincecum struggled throughout the first half, posting a 3-9 record with a 6.08 ERA. Making sure your players have confidence in themselves is an important job for a manager, but Giants fans have to wonder if Bochy has the proper balance between that and giving the Giants their best chance at winning.

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Giants Vs. Pirates: Ryan Vogelsong Faces Former Team At PNC Park

(Sports Network) - Two of the best pitchers in the National League square off tonight when James McDonald and the Pittsburgh Pirates continue a three-game series against Ryan Vogelsong and the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park.

Although both are among the league leaders in ERA, neither will be in Kansas City on Tuesday for the All-Star Game.

McDonald has won his last three starts and is pitching to a 2.45 ERA, while Vogelsong leads the NL with a 2.26 ERA and has had 12 straight quality starts and seven straight outings of at least seven innings.

"People don't take me seriously," Vogelsong said after last Sunday's All-Star roster announcements. "I've been pitching with a chip on my shoulder since I got here last year. I've still got something to prove. I'll probably pitch with that chip the rest of my career.".

Vogelsong, who is 7-3 on the year, didn't get a decision against the Cincinnati Reds on Monday, but pitched well, allowing two runs and three hits in seven innings of a 4-3 win.

Vogelsong is 1-2 with a 4.76 ERA in three career games against Pittsburgh. Earlier this year, he threw 6 1/3 innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out seven in a losing effort.

McDonald, meanwhile, beat the Houston Astros on Monday, holding them to a pair of runs and four hits in seven innings. He did walk five batters, but still improved to 8-3 on the year.

The 27-year-old righty lost to the Giants earlier in the year and is just 1-3 lifetime against them with a 3.38 ERA in 11 games (4 starts).

Pittsburgh lost for only the fourth time in 20 home games on Friday, as Melky Cabrera smoked a two-run home run as part of a five-run fourth inning, and San Francisco held on for a 6-5 victory.

Ryan Theriot ripped an RBI double and knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Hector Sanchez added an RBI base hit in the victory for the Giants, who got back in the win column after being swept by the Washington Nationals earlier in the week.

Barry Zito (7-6) allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five innings to earn the win. Sergio Romo collected his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

"After a tough series in Washington, that's a great way to bounce back," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was a great performance by the bullpen."

Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with an RBI triple, while Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez clubbed solo home runs for the Bucs, who had a four-game winning streak halted.

Erik Bedard (4-10) yielded five runs -- four earned -- on four hits and three walks over just 3 2/3 innings to take the loss. He struck out one hitter.

The Giants took two of three from the Pirates earlier in the year and have won 14 of their last 20 against them.

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Giants Vs. Pirates, Final Score: Melkman Homers, Giants Hold Off Buccos 6-5

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Melky Cabrera smoked a two-run home run as part of a five-run fourth inning, and the San Francisco Giants held on for a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the opener of a three-game set at PNC Park.

Ryan Theriot ripped an RBI double and knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Hector Sanchez added an RBI base hit in the victory for the Giants, who got back in the win column after being swept by the Washington Nationals earlier in the week.

Barry Zito (7-6) allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts over five innings to earn the win. Sergio Romo collected his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

"After a tough series in Washington, that's a great way to bounce back," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was a great performance by the bullpen."

Andrew McCutchen went 3-for-5 with an RBI triple, while Casey McGehee and Pedro Alvarez clubbed solo home runs for the Bucs, who had a four-game winning streak halted.

Erik Bedard (4-10) yielded five runs -- four earned -- on four hits and three walks over just 3 2/3 innings to take the loss. He struck out one hitter.

It's only the fourth loss for the Pirates in their last 20 home games.

After registering no hits and trailing 3-0 through three innings, the Giants finally got their offense in gear in the fourth.

Justin Christian started the five-run frame by working a walk before scoring on a double by Theriot. Cabrera followed by ripping a breaking ball over the wall in left field to tie the game.

Buster Posey worked a walk, moved to second on an infield single, third on a flyout and scored on Sanchez's single to left, putting the Giants ahead. Joaquin Arias gave San Francisco a two-run lead when he laced a line drive off Josh Harrison at shortstop and into left, which allowed Pablo Sandoval to score.

"Even though we had that one bad inning, I thought we played pretty good baseball," Alvarez said. "We don't stop until the final out is made."

McGehee brought the Pirates within one in the fifth when he laced a fastball off Zito into the seats in left-center, but the Giants got it right back in the seventh courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Theriot to extend the lead to 6-4.

Facing Jose Lopez in the eighth, Alvarez ripped a hanging curveball into the seats in right-center to again bring Pittsburgh within one, but Romo retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win.

Earlier, the Pirates opened the scoring with a run in the first inning. Harrison and Drew Sutton began the frame with back-to-back singles, and McCutchen knocked home Harrison with a base hit into left field for the first run of the game.

Pittsburgh tacked on two more in the third. McCutchen ripped a triple into the left-center field gap to plate Harrison, who worked a leadoff walk. Neil Walker doubled home McCutchen two batters later to extend the lead to 3-0.

Game Notes

The Pirates have hit at least one extra-base hit in a season-high 37 consecutive games...San Francisco has won 14 of their last 20 games against the Pirates and the first game of a series in 11 of their last 14 sets...San Francisco snapped a three-game road skid and improved to 20-22 away from AT&T Park this season...The Giants plated five runs in an inning for the second time this year.

For more on the Giants, read McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Pirates Lineups: Justin Christian In Leadoff Spot Again

As the San Francisco Giants prepare to kick off their final series before the All-Star break against the Pittsburgh Pirates, there are still plenty of questions swirling following their poor showing against the Washington Nationals. The Giants have lost four of their last five games and their bullpen in particular has looked frighteningly fallible.

On Friday, the Giants face a left-hander in Erik Bedard, so Bruce Bochy has put together another interesting lineup that includes Justin Christian batting leadoff. In Thursday's game against the Nationals, the Giants rapped out 15 hits with Christian in the leadoff spot, so perhaps Bochy is again attempting to play the hot hand.

However, the Giants will need to do much better than the 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position that they managed on Thursday. The Pirates are in first place in the National League Central division and will be no pushovers in their home park.

Here are the lineup's for Friday's game:

Giants

1. Justin Christian (R) RF
2. Ryan Theriot (R) 2B
3. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
6. Angel Pagan (S) CF
7. Hector Sanchez (S) C
8. Joaquin Arias (R) SS
9. Barry Zito (L) P

Pirates

1. Josh Harrison (R) SS
2. Drew Sutton (S) RF
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Casey McGehee (R) 1B
5. Neil Walker (S) 2B
6. Pedro Alvarez (L) 3B
7. Rod Barajas (R) C
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Erik Bedard (L) P

For more on the Giants make sure to check out McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants Vs. Pirates, Series Preview: G-Men Look To Right The Ship Against Buccos

The Giants take on the Pirates for a three game set at PNC Park.

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