Williams, who has not won since July 12, is 0-1 with a 3.37 ERA in his past three starts. On Friday, he gave up three runs—two earned—and seven hits in six innings, but he did not get a decision in the Giants’ 5-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
While he did not pitch poorly, Williams said he was rattled after giving up a home run to Cincinnati’s Barry Larkin.
“Sometimes that happens,” said Williams, who struck out nine. “As a pitcher, you can’t let that bother you. I kind of let it bother me a little bit.”
After taking Tuesday’s series opener 3-0, the Giants fell to the Pirates 2-0 Wednesday.
Sidney Ponson, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles at last week’s trading deadline, was outstanding in his Giants debut. After holding Pittsburgh scoreless for seven innings, however, he allowed a two-run double to Reggie Sanders in the eighth.
The Giants, who had won two straight, fell four games behind the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the major leagues.
The Pirates, who had lost two straight and three of their previous five, won for just the fourth time in their last 21 games in San Francisco.
Salomon Torres, who was scheduled to start on Thursday, was scratched late Wednesday night after straining his right hamstring while shagging fly balls. He is day-to-day.
“It was kind of windy, kind of cold,” Torres said. “At least they said it was a good catch I made.”
Ryan Vogelsong, who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday, will take his place.
STANDINGS: Pirates - 4th place, 8 GB, NL Central. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Vogelsong (0-1, 10.50 ERA). Vogelsong, who spent parts of two seasons with the Giants, will be making his second start this season. In an 8-5 loss to the Cleveland Indians on June 22, he gave up seven runs and 10 hits in five innings.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Williams (5-2, 2.82 ERA). Williams has allowed no more than three earned runs in nine consecutive starts. The 21-year-old right-hander has never faced the Pirates.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Brian Giles, .303 avg. and 62 RBIs; Sanders, 21 HRs and 9 SBs; Jason Kendall, 63 runs. Giants - Barry Bonds, .330 avg., 34 HRs, 71 RBIs and 81 runs; Marquis Grissom, 9 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Giants, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - RF Sanders has 15 RBIs in his last 12 games. … The Pirates are 4-45 when trailing after seven. … The Pirates, who play the Giants for the final time this season, have lost the season series in each of the past five seasons. Giants - The Giants placed SS Rich Aurilia on the 15-day disabled list as he recovers from an appendectomy. They recalled SS Cody Ransom from Triple-A Fresno to take his spot on the roster. … LF Bonds has reached base in 31 consecutive games. … 3B Edgardo Alfonzo went 0-for-3 Thursday, snapping a six-game hitting streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 27-27 on the road; Giants - 38-17 at home.
INJURIES: Pirates - RHP Kris Benson (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL; INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; 2B Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL. Giants - C Alberto Castillo (wrist), 15-day DL; SS Rich Aurilia (appendicitis), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Kirk Rueter (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Chad Zerbe (oblique), 15-day DL.