Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Late Mercer HBP leads Pirates past Giants for 5th straight win

Andrew McCutchen Andrew Mc Cutchen
Russell Knight | 14 May, 2018, 06:15

Nova is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco, the only one with the Pirates coming last August 17 when he gave up four runs in four innings in a 6-5 Pittsburgh win.

"I thought he made some really good pitches that could have gone the other way", Bochy told MLB.com after Tuesday's game.

Andrew McCutchen left after 2017 as the 10th-ranked player in Pirates history in bWAR for position players and 4th in organization history in home runs.

"It's starting pitching", manager Bruce Bochy said. Chad Kuhl pitched six innings for the Pirates, and struck out six. Bell took a step from third base toward the plate on contact, but after Evan Longoria corralled the ball, Bell darted back to the bag and danced out of the way of a Longoria tag.

With the bases loaded and Mercer at the plate, Watson wanted to attack his former teammate on the inside corner, but delivered a fastball too far inside that ultimately plated the winning run. While McCutchen did give the 34,720 a reason to cheer during the game with a double in the seventh inning, so did Crick, who was dealt to the Pirates in the January swap.

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"I'm still a little upset with this one even though I got to go 6⅓", he said. They have yet to win a single game in Pennsylvania, and they only have one more chance to get a win.

"Bad. Simple. It was a bad one." said Nova, who gave up five runs and six hits in two innings.

Rookie Andrew Suárez was the starter the last time the Giants won, but he battled command issues throughout four rough innings against a Pirates team that's now won four in a row.

Watson spent seven years with the Pirates and was a reliable relief pitcher. The Pirates regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI triple from Jordy Mercer, which was followed by a pinch-hit two run home run off the bat of Jose Osuna. The three-run blast was the fifth hit by the Giants this season after the club hit just seven all of a year ago. The trip has actually been something of a nightmare for the Giants.

Jackson's two-out knock came against left-hander Steven Brault, who entered after starter Jameson Taillon exited following the third inning with a finger laceration on his pitching hand. Posey is just coming off a four-game multi-hit streak, or a six-game hit streak if you like bigger numbers. "Part of me needs to be positive in this game but we'll keep that to myself and it is what it is". In the end, Watson couldn't pitch around Bell's double and Freese's tough-luck grounder in the eighth as the Giants fell two games under.500.

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