Sanchez’s 5 RBIs highlight Pirates’ 13-3 win over Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Big innings are plaguing the San Francisco Giants and working out well for Pittsburgh.

Freddy Sanchez homered and drove in a career-high five runs, and Adam LaRoche connected for the second consecutive game to lead the Pirates past the Giants 13-3 on Saturday.

Pittsburgh showed plenty of power on a day 43-year-old San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds sat out to rest after his record-breaking week. And Tony Armas (2-3) might have shown enough in six effective innings to keep himself in the rotation after winning his second straight start. The pitcher drove in a run, too.

“We’re seeing our team where we were at the end of the first half,” manager Jim Tracy said. “Now the question is, can we sustain it? … I can’t say enough about where Freddy Sanchez is offensively and defensively right now. Four hits, five RBIs—that’s a huge offensive day.”

Sanchez snapped a scoreless tie with his two-run homer into the left-field seats in the fourth for the first of his four hits. He added a two-run double in the ninth.

LaRoche followed Sanchez’s homer with a splash-hit solo shot into McCovey Cove, where a shirtless kayaker quickly belly flopped into the water to retrieve the souvenir.

It marked the third time this year the Pirates hit back-to-back home runs, and LaRoche’s splash hit was the second time an opponent reached the water this year. Carlos Delgado of the New York Mets did it May 9.

The Pirates had not homered into the bay previously. It was the 15th time overall by a Giants opponent and 60th time in all since the ballpark opened in 2000.

Bonds has 35 of those, including two this year.

The seven-time NL MVP hit homer No. 756 on Tuesday night to break Hank Aaron’s 33-year-old record, a splash shot into the bay the next night for No. 757 and then his 758th on Friday night. He has homered four times in his last five starts dating to No. 755, which tied the Hammer’s mark Aug. 4 at San Diego.

The Pirates put together a big inning for the second straight day, finally getting to hard-throwing Giants rookie Tim Lincecum (6-3).

“The big innings, they’re killing us,” San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy said. “We were shabby today, no getting around it. It was an ugly game.”

The right-handed Lincecum, the team’s top 2006 draft pick nicknamed “Franchise” by his teammates way back in spring training, struck out the side in the first—with nine of the 10 pitches he threw being strikes. He retired the first seven batters he faced before No. 8 hitter Jack Wilson singled in the third.

Lincecum struck out eight and walked one in six innings, allowing nine hits and five runs.

“He’s got unbelievable stuff. The key is trying not to do too much,” Sanchez said. “I just went up looking to make contact. Getting a couple of wins back-to-back is something we need right now.”

The Pirates scored five runs in the fourth and batted around, getting the two home runs as well as a triple from Ryan Doumit, Armas’ run-scoring double and an RBI groundout by Jose Castillo.

“It’s awesome when that happens,” Armas said. “I hope I can carry this through till the end of the season. Right now I can throw every pitch for strikes.”

Pittsburgh rallied from a 6-2 deficit with six runs in the eighth inning of its 8-7 victory Friday night.

Randy Winn homered for the Giants, his seventh, but San Francisco could do little else against Armas, who beat the Giants for the first time since 2002 with the Expos.

Jason Bay, the 2004 NL Rookie of the Year, has hit safely in all 11 of his career appearances in the Giants’ pitcher-friendly waterfront ballpark.

Notes

Sanchez had his eighth career four-hit game. … Lincecum is winless in his last three starts after getting victories in four of his previous five. He struck out eight or more batters for the seventh time, and his 121 strikeouts rank as the fifth-highest single-season total by a San Francisco rookie. … When the Pirates caught former teammate Rajai Davis trying to steal second in the first it was the first baserunner they had thrown out since July 4. Davis was acquired by the Giants in a deal at the trade deadline that sent starting pitcher Matt Morris to Pittsburgh. … Pittsburgh’s Damaso Marte allowed his first hit to a lefty in 33 at-bats on Ryan Klesko’s bloop double that LF Bay lost in the sun in the eighth. … San Francisco sold out for the 34th time (43,105) and the team played in front of its 32nd straight sellout crowd and 18th in a row at home since June 30.

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