Duke finally gets back on track

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Even as the losses piled up, Zach Duke kept going about his business and kept believing things eventually would turn around.

Duke pitched a six-hitter to snap a career-worst nine-game skid and the Pittsburgh Pirates ran their winning streak in San Francisco to seven with a 7-0 victory over the Giants on Friday night, when a light earthquake rattled the area during the game.

“Obviously it’s been an interesting year for me, but I’m never going to be someone to roll over and give up,” Duke said. “I’m always going to work my butt off. This is a pretty gratifying game for me.”

Brandon Moss drove in three runs and Adam LaRoche two for Pittsburgh, helping Duke win for the first time in 15 starts since beating Arizona on June 9. The left-hander ended the longest losing streak by a Pirates pitcher since Jose DeLeon lost 11 in a row in 1985.

Duke (5-13) struck out four and walked two in his third career complete game and second shutout.

“He’s shown some good signs all year that he’s capable of throwing the ball well,” Pirates manager John Russell said. “Some of his starts it’s been that one inning, which he was able to avoid tonight. I’m sure it’s a little bit of a relief for him that he got it out of the way.”

In two of Duke’s previous three outings, the Pirates failed to score while he was on the mound. This time, Pittsburgh matched a franchise record with four sacrifice flies.

Duke earned his first road win since May 27, 2007, at Cincinnati, and the second straight complete-game shutout by the Pirates in San Francisco. Pirates pitchers have 20 straight scoreless innings in San Francisco’s waterfront ballpark.

Tom Gorzelanny pitched a five-hitter here last Aug. 12.

A minor earthquake hit the Bay Area during the bottom of the sixth inning. Many felt the temblor—with a preliminary report as a 4.0-magnitude from the U.S. Geological Survey—but there was no interruption of the game. During the 1989 World Series here between the Giants and Oakland Athletics, a 6.9 earthquake hit during warmups before Game 3 and delayed the conclusion of the Series.

This quake hit just after 9 p.m. and could be felt throughout the region. The temblor’s epicenter was near Alamo, about 28 miles east of San Francisco.

Giants outfielder Randy Winn didn’t feel it in the dugout and neither did starting pitcher Kevin Correia, who was back in the clubhouse. Longtime San Francisco equipment manager Mike Murphy said things shook in the laundry room where he was, “just like a quick shot.”

LaRoche doubled in the Pirates’ first run past center fielder Aaron Rowand in the second after Ryan Doumit led off the inning with a double—the first of Doumit’s four hits—then LaRoche added a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Moss had a two-run triple in the seventh and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Nate McLouth and Nyjer Morgan also had sacrifice flies for the Pirates, who have won three of four on the heels of a season-worst 10-game skid.

Pittsburgh has won eight of nine at San Francisco’s waterfront ballpark. The Giants’ last win at home in the series came in 2006 and they haven’t won a home series in this matchup since 2003.

San Francisco lost for the 14th time in its last 16 meetings with Pittsburgh and is 8-21 vs. the Pirates since 2004. The Giants were shut out for the 12th time this year and second time in four games.

“We get tired of being beat up by anybody,” reliever Jack Taschner said. “Around here, we can’t buy a break. For some reason with this club, it goes south in a hurry and it goes south in all aspects. … It gets old real quick.”

Correia (3-8) has only one win in seven starts since a victory at Dodger Stadium on July 28—and the discouraging part for him was his arm felt as strong as it has all year.

“That’s the worst,” he said. “The whole year has been like that, just a frustrating year.”

Nate Schierholtz got the start in right field—his first home game since being called up after earning a bronze medal with the U.S. baseball team in Beijing—for the Giants after getting a career-best four hits Wednesday at Colorado.

The Giants had the bases loaded in the third with no outs but couldn’t capitalize.


The aunt of home run king Barry Bonds, Rosie Bonds-Kreidler, took part in the Giants’ Olympic Night festivities. The sister of Bonds’ late father, Bobby, she was a hurdler in the 1964 Olympics. … Winn moved to LF with Schierholtz in his regular spot. Schierholtz’s father, Vai, attended the game wearing one of his Olympic jerseys. … Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal attended the game and received a warm ovation. He is in town for Saturday’s statue unveiling for Orlando Cepeda. … The Pirates also had four sacrifice flies on May 17, 2007, against Florida and in 1988. The Giants allowed four sacrifice flies for the first time in San Francisco’s 50-year history.

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