The San Francisco Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates had to wait out a three-hour rain delay before starting the opener of their weekend series. The weather did nothing to slow down San Francisco’s Freddy Sanchez(notes).
After helping spark a Giants rally in his first game against his former club, Sanchez hopes to stay hot at the plate as the series continues Saturday night at PNC Park.
San Francisco (29-24) snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 6-4 win Friday night, rallying from a 4-0 deficit thanks in part to Sanchez.
A three-time All-Star with the Pirates, Sanchez had three hits in his return to Pittsburgh, including a single that sparked the Giants’ four-run sixth inning. Juan Uribe(notes) followed with a two-run homer, and Aubrey Huff(notes) delivered another two-run shot later in the inning.
“You’ve got to keep grinding and these guys did,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You can’t get down in this game and these guys kept their heads up and got these bats going.”
Sanchez, a career .313 hitter at PNC Park, is 14 for 27 (.519) with four RBIs and six runs scored over his last eight games. He has a .629 on-base percentage in that stretch, walking eight times.
The Pirates (22-32) have missed Sanchez lately, having averaged 2.3 runs and batted .223 while losing six of nine. They fell Friday despite scoring more than three runs for the first time since a 7-5 defeat at Cincinnati on May 24.
Pittsburgh will try to rebound against San Francisco starter Todd Wellemeyer(notes) (3-4, 5.03 ERA), who has posted a 2.84 ERA over his last two starts - both Giants wins at home. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.97 ERA in San Francisco, but 0-3 with a 9.35 ERA in four road starts.
Wellemeyer is 4-2 with a 4.53 ERA in nine career starts against the Pirates, but 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in four at PNC Park.
The Pirates will hand the ball to Paul Maholm(notes) (3-4, 3.90), who returns to Pittsburgh hoping to duplicate his success from two strong starts on the road. After throwing seven shutout innings in a 2-1 win at Cincinnati, the left-hander held Atlanta to two runs in six innings of a 5-2 loss Sunday.
Maholm is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in seven career starts against the Giants, who are hitting .353 (18 for 51) against left-handers over their last four games.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval(notes), a switch hitter, is 4 for 9 lifetime against Maholm. Sandoval is batting .268 against lefties this season after hitting .350 against them over his first two major league seasons.