Bumgarner Homers as San Francisco Giants Defeat Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4
Josh Harrison made his return to the lineup for the Pittsburgh Pirates and went hitless on Friday night and the team was not able to overcome Madison Bumgarner to drop the second game of the series 6-4 to the San Francisco Giants. Jeff Locke had another bad start, giving up six runs in just five innings of work in the game that saw Pittsburgh’s record fall to 72-48.
The Giants got to Locke in the first inning, scoring three off of a Buster Posey sacrifice fly and then a two run home run by the newly acquired Marlon Byrd. The Pirates were able to get one of the runs back in their half of the inning when Jung Ho Kang singled to score Starling Marte.
Bumgarner helped his own cause and extended the San Francisco lead to four when he added his fifth (!) home run of the year, a two run shot, in the second inning. Marte hit into a fielder’s choice in the Pittsburgh half of the inning to score Michael Morse and cut the deficit to three runs.
Brandon Belt put the Giants even further ahead in the fourth inning with a double that scored both Gregor Blanco and Matt Duffy. Neil Walker hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to score Morse and inch the Pirates closer to tying the game. A run scoring single by Aramis Ramirez in the eighth put the Pirates within two runs, but unfortunately that would represent the end of the scoring for them. Other than the one run given up by Sergio Romo, the San Francisco bullpen shut down the Pittsburgh offense and secured Bumgarner’s 15th win of the season.
What Stood Out
Once again Locke was unable to make it into the sixth inning, this time giving up six runs in five innings. He only struck out two batters and his WHIP for the game was over 2.00, again showing how inconsistent he can be from start to start. Locke will need to have a good outing next time out with the impending return of A.J. Burnett to the rotation.
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Joe Blanton was tasked with following Locke in the game and pitched two innings, surrendering no runs and striking out four. Blanton has quietly put together a very impressive run in the National League, sporting an ERA of 0.59. At this point he should be opening some eyes in the organization and should potentially be considered for start, especially if Locke continues to pitch like this.
Gerrit Cole and Chris Heston are scheduled to pitch the third game of the series that begins Saturday at 4:05pm. Cole has suffered losses in his last two starts and gave up four runs in each game, so he’ll look to get back to where he was earlier in the season. Heston will be remembered as one of the pitchers to toss a no hitter in 2015, having achieved the feat back on June 9th against the New York Mets.