April 15, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (right) slides into second base for a double ahead of a tag from Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes (left) during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Four runs, people. Take it in. Enjoy it. The Pirates stopped their losing streak by beating the Giants 4-1 on Sunday. Kevin Correia pitched six innings and allowed one run, and the Bucs got to Ryan Vogelsong (despite allowing him to rack up seven strikeouts). In the second, Garrett Jones hit a hanging offspeed pitch for a fly ball that seemed to carry out in the wind and barely ended up in the stands in right for a solo homer.
In the fifth, the Giants cut the lead in half when Brandon Belt doubled and came home on a couple of groundouts.
The Pirates, though, got two insurance runs in the eighth. Andrew McCutchen and Casey McGehee singled, and Neil Walker sacrificed to third. Pablo Sandoval airmailed the throw to first, and McCutchen came home. Josh Harrison then laid down a bunt, and McGehee came home on the squeeze.
Those two runs turned out to be pretty nice to have, because Joel Hanrahan made things interesting in the ninth, walking two batters before eventually retiring the Giants with fly ball outs. Jason Grilli's eighth inning was pretty interesting too, come to think of it, as Angel Pagan led off the inning with a triple but got stranded. It's nice to be on the other end of that sort of situation for once.
Pedro Alvarez went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and Jose Tabata went 0-for-5, unfortunately. Alvarez is now 1-for-19 with 12 strikeouts this season. It appears the Pirates aren't nearly out of the woods yet. But a win is nice.
In the minors:
-P- Alen Hanson went 3-for-4 with a homer as West Virginia won 9-6. Gregory Polanco hit a three-run homer. Nick Kingham pitched four good innings, which is nice to see after his awful first two starts.
-P- Hunter Strickland struck out six over six shutout innings as Bradenton won 10-1. Carlos Paulino hit a three-run homer.
-P- Altoona only got five hits in a 3-1 loss to Richmond. One of those went to Robbie Grossman, who was 1-for-4 with a double.
-P- Rudy Owens struck out four and walked none while allowing two runs in seven innings, but Indianapolis lost 4-3.