Gorzelanny gets first shutout in Pirates’ 5-0 win over Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Tom Gorzelanny knew the Pirates had to conserve energy and their bullpen, what with a doubleheader against the Giants scheduled back in Pittsburgh just 26 hours after Sunday’s first pitch in San Francisco.
So Gorzelanny obliged with the best start of his career—and he gave the Giants’ hitters plenty of rest as well.
Gorzelanny allowed five hits in his first career shutout, and the Pirates finished off their first road sweep since early April with a 5-0 victory Sunday.
Josh Phelps hit a two-run homer off Barry Zito and a two-run triple for the Pirates, who won their sixth straight game at San Francisco’s waterfront ballpark. It was easy with another quality start from Gorzelanny (11-6), the second-year pro who finished his first complete game by retiring the Giants’ final 17 batters.
“I didn’t automatically think I was going to have a good day, but it does feel good, and it’s a long time coming,” said Gorzelanny, who allowed only one San Francisco runner to reach third base in his second straight strong start after a 13-day layoff with a sore shoulder.
The left-hander never faced much trouble from Barry Bonds and the Giants’ punchless lineup. Gorzelanny, who got his first career victory against the Giants last season, finished strong with a perfect ninth, getting Bonds to pop up with one out.
“What I saw today was probably the best he’s thrown,” Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy said. “There was no point where he wavered at all. He pounded the strike zone with all his strikes.”
Bonds went 1-for-3 with a walk against his former team to finish the week in which he became baseball’s career homer runs leader. Bonds then hit his 758th shot Friday night, but couldn’t manage much against Gorzelanny.
“I felt like going after him would be a good idea today,” Gorzelanny said.
The game began an hour earlier than the usual Sunday start in San Francisco so both clubs would have extra time to get back to Pittsburgh for a makeup of two rainouts in mid-April.
The early alarm didn’t help the Giants, who managed just one extra-base hit against Gorzelanny while losing their fourth straight and their eighth in 10 games—and the slumping club can look forward to 18 games over the next 17 days.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Bonds probably won’t start either game in Pittsburgh, though the Pirates have planned a tribute to their former leadoff hitter.
“I think we know what’s ahead of us, but we can’t dwell on that,” said Zito, who has won just two of his last 13 starts. “It’s going to be tough tomorrow for our bullpen, and with no days off in the next couple of weeks, it’ll be tough.”
Pittsburgh and the Giants have the NL’s two worst records, but the Pirates seem more comfortable in San Francisco than their hosts. Pittsburgh is 11-2 in its last 13 games in San Francisco, with 20 homers and a team ERA under 2.70.
Phelps has been a .300 hitter since the Pirates claimed him off waivers from the Yankees in late June, but the first baseman hadn’t started since July 27— and he hadn’t shown much power before his two impressive shots against the Giants.
His two-run homer in the sixth exited one of the deepest parts of center field, and his triple in the seventh barely missed the stands.
“It’s been a couple of weeks, so to be able to go in and contribute again, it’s great,” Phelps said. “It’s not easy to go in there after a long layoff, but you’ve got to have the mental fortitude to compete. (Zito) was about what I expected. It was a lot of high fastballs, and I was able to handle one of them.”
Zito (8-11) was booed when he walked the first three batters he faced in his first career start against Pittsburgh, the only major league club he had never met. The struggling left-hander escaped that jam, but yielded Cesar Izturis’ RBI single in the second before settling down to retire the next 11 batters.
Jason Bay’s single and Phelps’ homer ended Zito’s string, and the Giants’ $126 million starter left after allowing six hits and striking out four over six innings.
“He’s a tough kid, but he expects a lot out of himself,” Bochy said. “I’m sure he’s taken some of his rough outings hard. With a (big) contract, sometimes that happens. He wants to do well in front of his home fans.”
New Jersey Nets G Jason Kidd, a Bay Area native, attended the game. … Bonds, baseball’s career leader in intentional walks, got his first intentional pass in 10 days in the third inning. … Pittsburgh’s Jose Bautista barehanded Rajai Davis’ grounder to third base in the eighth, then beat the speedy Giants outfielder with an exceptional throw.