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Pirates' offense goes nuts in 12-8 win


The Pirates' offense came alive in a 12-8 victory over the Giants Wednesday night, the Pirates' fourth win in five games.

Alex Presley and Neil Walker homered. Leadoff hitter Starling Marte had four hits, and the next three players in the lineup -- Jordy Mercer, Andrew McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez -- had three apiece.

"The top of the order was really special tonight," Clint Hurdle said. "They just kept fueling us from the first inning through the eighth."

In addition to his four hits, Marte had two stolen bases and scored four runs. After a prolonged slump, Marte now has hits in his last four games. Speaking through a translator after the game, he credited the improvement to his teammates suggesting he wait a bit longer before swinging.

The Bucs and Giants were tied 1-1 in the third when the Pirates scored three runs thanks to McCutchen's two-run double to the left-center gap and a run-scoring double play by Russell Martin. The Giants scored one in the fourth and two in the fifth to tie it 4-4, but the Bucs scored four in the fifth. They loaded the bases, and Martin brought home a run with a grounder, followed by Alvarez's double to the Clemente Wall, and Walker's two-run single.

It continued in the sixth. Presley hit a solo homer, and then Marte singled and Sanchez brought him home with a double. The Giants got two each in the seventh (off Justin Wilson) and eighth (off Tony Watson on a two-run, Texas-League single by Buster Posey). But the Pirates kept scoring to prevent the game from getting close, with Walker's homer off the top of the Clemente Wall (which was reviewed) coming in the bottom of the seventh, and another RBI groundout by Martin the next inning.

"It was a night when every run counted, [although] they always do," Hurdle said. "We were able to add on."

David Manel contributed to this post.