The Pirates defeated the Giants in a boring 1-0 game where nothing really happened. Or maybe just the impossible happened. Not only did Jeff Locke defeat Madison Bumgarner on a Monday night, but he did so thanks to the only run being scored on an Erik Kratz solo home run. Yes, you read that correctly.
Kratz belted a blast to deep left field in the bottom of the 5th inning of a scoreless game that looked like it was coming short of the wall. Angel Pagan leaped and had the ball in his glove, but lost it somewhere over the wall while in mid-air. Pagan slammed his glove the ground and Kratz had his first home run and the Pirates had their game-winning run.
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After giving up 18 earned runs in his past two starts, Locke needed an outing like the one he had tonight. Locke stifled the Giants through 6.2 innings, allowing just five hits (four singles) with no walks and three strikeouts. Twelve out of 14 outs on batted balls were groundouts. Neftali Feliz finished off the 7th inning for him, the good Tony Watson showed up tonight and pitched a scoreless 8th inning and Mark Melancon shut the door for his 20th save of the season, lowering his ERA to 1.59. It would be nice if Locke could remain more consistent and build on a start like this.
As for Kratz, it was his 24th home run of his career, but his first since 2014 when he was a member of the Royals. If you ever used the term “can’t predict baseball,” this home run was it.
Also of note from this game was Buster Posey pulled up lame while running to first base in the 9th inning and looks like he pulled his hammy. More details to come on that injury, but I wouldn’t expect Posey in the lineup tomorrow when the Bucs and Giants square off for game 2 at 7:05PM. The Bucs will face their old nemesis in Johnny Cueto and call on Wilfredo Boscan to make the first start of his ML career.