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.