Giants observations: Alex Wood leads way to Pirates series split

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What we learned as Wood leads Giants to split vs. Pirates originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

In what should have been a series sweep on the road, the Giants came away with a split after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-1 on Sunday at PNC Park. 

The Giants again got a great pitching performance from their starter, this time from Alex Wood, who improved to 5-0 on the season. San Francisco's starting pitchers allowed just three earned runs in 23 1/3 innings over the four games against the Pirates. Somehow the Giants came away with just two wins. 

Though the Giants' offense didn't exactly knock the cover off the ball, they'll take the win. Their first two balls in play traveled a total of seven feet, yet the Giants took an early lead in the first inning on a Alex Dickerson fielder's choice. The Giants scored their second run on wild pitch in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie.

A Mike Yastrzemski two-run blast in the top of the ninth inning gave the Giants two huge insurance runs. 

As the saying goes, a win's a win. Here are three more takeaways as the first-place Giants improved to 24-16 on the season.

Cy Wood

That one-year contract the Giants signed Wood to in late January is looking pretty good right now. The veteran lefty dazzled yet again, allowing just one earned run in six innings pitched. 

Wood ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, but it could have been way worse. He allowed eight hits, yet continued to find ways to walk back into the dugout without allowing a run. Wood also struck out six batters, walked only one and led all pitchers with 14 swing and misses. 

The undefeated Wood lowered his ERA to a tiny 1.75 in six starts. 

Dubon Flashes Leather 

Dubon had perhaps his best all-around game this season on Sunday. He went 2-for-4 at the plate, but it was his defense that continues to impress.

San Francisco's utility man came up clutch not once but twice on defense in the fifth inning, saving the day with his glove and his arm. 

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After Sunday's win, Dubon now has played 87 1/3 innings in center field, 79 1/3 at shortstop and 34 1/3 innings at second base. He came into the day tied for seventh in dWAR by Baseball Reference. Dubon's versatility has been huge for the Giants this season, as seen again in a needed win. 

Bullpen Closes the Door

The Giants' shaky bullpen allowed seven earned runs in their two losses to the Pirates. When Caleb Baragar took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning on Sunday, there had to be cause for concern among fans. Baragar and Co. quickly gave everyone a sigh of relief. 

Between Baragar, Matt Wisler and Tyler Rogers, the Giants' three relievers tossed a scoreless three final innings. They didn't allow a single hit, and were nearly flawless on the hill. 

For how great San Francisco's starters have been this season, the Giants need much more of this out of their relievers.

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