The Pittsburgh Pirates used triples from Cole Tucker and starting pitcher Joe Musgrove to build a lead, then got a home run from Jacob Stallings as insurance in a 4-2 win over the host San Francisco Giants on Thursday afternoon.
Musgrove (10-12) pitched five shutout innings, and Felipe Vazquez recorded his third save in four days, allowing the Pirates to take three of four in the series and five of seven from the Giants this season.
After an RBI double by Jose Osuna gaven the Pirates a 1-0 lead against Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija in the first inning, Tucker tripled and made it 2-0 in the fourth on Kevin Kramer’s sacrifice fly.
Musgrove then got into the triples act in the fifth, setting the stage for an Adam Frazier RBI single and a 3-0 advantage.
After having missed one start and being listed as questionable for Thursday because of a sore foot, Musgrove pitched long enough to earn the win, allowing four hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter en route to becoming the first Pittsburgh pitcher to reach double figures in victories this season.
The Giants closed within 3-2 against the Pittsburgh bullpen in the sixth on a two-run home run by Evan Longoria, his 19th. But Stallings countered with a leadoff shot, his sixth, off Samardzija in the seventh, bumping the lead to two runs.
The homer by Longoria was just the second for the Giants in the four-game series, while Stallings’ blast was the Pirates’ third in the generally powerless duel.
Attempting to protect a 4-2 lead, Vazquez got himself into a mess in the ninth when he walked Joey Rickard and served up a single to pinch hitter Donovan Solano, putting the potential tying runs on base with no outs.
But the Pittsburgh closer rebounded to strike out pinch hitter Austin Slater and Mike Yastrzemski before getting Buster Posey to ground out on a full count for his 28th save.
Stallings finished with two hits for the Pirates, whose triples were the first two by either team in the series.
Samardzija (10-12) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing all four Pittsburgh runs and eight hits. He walked one and struck out two.
–Field Level Media