Pirates 7, Giants 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Most teams hit the road trying to build on their home success. The Pittsburgh Pirates are facing the opposite scenario as they return home following a tremendous 10-day trip out West.
The home run crazy Pirates have something to prove to their fans at PNC Park.
Ty Wigginton hit a tiebreaking two-run homer, Daryle Ward added a two-run shot, and Ray Sadler also connected for his first major league hit, leading the Pirates over the San Francisco Giants 7-2 on Wednesday.
“Everybody says baseball is a game of streaks,” Wigginton said. “When it rolls, you’ve got to take full advantage and be ready every single day.”
Josh Fogg (3-2) pitched seven strong innings in a gutsy effort on three days’ rest and the Pirates’ powerful lineup came up big again. Pittsburgh began the day with a major league-best 18 home runs in May, then hit three more to end its road trip on a high note.
The Pirates completed the stretch 7-3, winning series at Houston, Arizona and San Francisco after losing three of five at home—including getting swept by the Giants from April 29-May 1.
“I said earlier in the year I thought we had a team that had nice interchangeable parts,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I think it’s a more confident team. Obviously, it started with guys swinging the bats. I think they’ve built on it and feel good about themselves. This is a team I want to take back home.”
Wigginton sent a 3-2 pitch from Noah Lowry (1-4) over the center field wall for his second homer of the year in the seventh. It also scored Jose Castillo, who had tied the game with an RBI single. Ward hit his seventh homer in the ninth and pinch-hitter Rob Mackowiak added an RBI single.
Rick White got five outs for his first save in two chances.
Sadler, a rookie who had his contract purchased from Double-A Altoona on Sunday, started the scoring when he homered to left in the third for his first hit in six career at-bats. Then Lowry drove in a run with a groundout in the bottom half of the inning to tie it.
“It was a big lift off my shoulders to get that first hit,” said Sadler, already planning where to put his keepsake ball. “It feels great. I can’t explain it.”
Lance Niekro’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly gave the Giants a 2-1 lead, but Lowry couldn’t hold it. He allowed four runs and four hits and struck out seven.
After Sadler’s homer, Lowry retired the next 11 batters before Jack Wilson doubled leading off the seventh. Castillo hit a tying RBI single three batters later to make it 2-2.
Lowry’s winless stretch reached five starts despite a solid outing. The lefty began his career 7-0, but has lost his last four decisions and hasn’t won since April 15 at Colorado. He was replaced in the eighth by Scott Munter, who made his major league debut after being called up for the second time Tuesday when ace Jason Schmidt went on the disabled list.
“They just hit the ball,” Lowry said. “I just didn’t get the job done. I’m a little frustrated right now, at 1-4 with a five-something ERA. I don’t know why. Today it was location.”
Fogg worked on short rest after ace Oliver Perez had his scheduled start pushed back because of shoulder stiffness.
It marked the second time under McClendon a Pittsburgh pitcher had gone on three days’ rest. Fogg did it last July 6 at Florida and got a no-decision in the 6-3 loss.
San Francisco’s Moises Alou returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with a stomach virus and got two hits. He also made an acrobatic stop in left field on a hard-hit ball by Ward in the seventh, diving to his left to make the catch before landing on his stomach.
Jason Bay of the Pirates extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a ninth-inning double. He has reached safely in 15 straight games and 18 of 19.
The Pirates acquired outfielder Michael Restovich from Colorado on Wednesday for a player to be named. He will be available Friday when the Pirates open a series at home against Milwaukee.
The Giants honored Felipe Alou with a birthday cake and song before the game, one day before the skipper turns 70. He waved and tipped his hat to the fans, then ate a piece of cake on the dugout steps.
San Francisco’s Pedro Feliz went 0-for-3 with a walk to have his seven-game hitting streak snapped. … Giants 1B J.T. Snow was out ill for the fourth straight day. Snow was expected back but got sick again. … Felipe Alou planned to call Tony Pena a day after the Royals skipper resigned. “I was surprised to hear that,” Alou said. “Him and I talked about the tough year they were going to have in Kansas City. They have a lot of young guys.”