In Monday night’s series opener in San Francisco, the Pirates got off to a fast start in the first inning against Giants starter Matt Cain. A lead off walk to Starling Marte, followed by a Josh Harrison double, had the Pirates off and running to start the ball game. Andrew McCutchen would drive in Marte with a ground out, and Josh Bell‘s one out double would drive in Josh Harrison. The Pirates would continue their offensive surge in the second inning, with the help of an error made by Eduardo Nunez on a ground ball hit by Starling Marte. The Pirates next two batters made the Giants pay. Josh Harrison hit a line drive single into left field to extend the lead, and Andrew McCutchen made it six to nothing with a three run home run immediately following the run batted in by Harrison. With six runs on the board, Cain would only stay in the ball game for two more innings before he was relieved by Albert Suarez to start the top of the fifth inning. The Pirates would remain at six runs for the game until two outs in the top of the 8th inning, when Jordy Mercer unloaded on a full count breaking pitch from Josh Osich, to make the score nine to three. After a two out single by Jose Osuna, Starling Marte added a tenth run for the Pirates by driving in Osuna with a double to left field.
The Giants registered a run on the scoreboard in the fourth inning against Gerrit Cole, on a night where Cole was not particularly sharp. Brandon Crawford recorded his second hit of the night against Cole, to drive in Brandon Belt with a line drive single to right field. The Giants would add another run in the fifth inning, on an RBI single to center field by Buster Posey. Brandon Belt was thrown out at third base trying to go first to third on the play, which helped Gerrit Cole to get through that inning without any further damage done on the scoreboard. Cole would get through the sixth inning without the Giants mounting another serious threat against him, but his final line told the story of his uneven outing. He left in line for the win, but with four walks and six base hits allowed, Cole was fortunate to have the Giants only push across two runs against him on the night. After Cole’s departure, the Giants added a run in the seventh inning, on Buster Posey’s second RBI single of the game. This time it was against Tony Watson, who gave up the RBI single to Posey, but would finish the bottom of the seventh inning with a strike out and the lead intact.
Cole and three relief pitchers combined to pitch the Pirates to victory in game one of their three-game series in San Francisco. The win improved the Pirates to 50-50, while the loss dropped the Giants to 38-63 on the season. Tune in Tuesday night for a battle of ace pitchers, as Jameson Taillon takes the mound to take on Madison Bumgarner and the Giants in game two of the series.