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Pirates fall to Giants quietly, expectedly, inevitably

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The overcast skies over this game were fitting, but perhaps a thick fog would have been better. It was a strange, listless day.

The Pirates made 15 straight outs.

A group of about eight or 10 kids, with no apparent supervision, sat in my row all day.

Jon Niese got a double somewhere in there.

At one point, one of the kids put the plastic bag from his cotton candy over his head and just sat there like that for several minutes, probably about a half-inning.

The game was never out of hand, but it felt a little trivial the whole time. The scoreboard said the Pirates had a chance, but the thought of them actually coming back felt silly, and they tamely dropped their series finale to the Giants, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon.

The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the first, when Josh Harrison reached on a fielder's choice, moved to third on an errant pickoff throw and went home on Gregory Polanco's sacrifice fly. They couldn't add on in the second when they had runners on the corners with no outs, but the bottom three of Sean Rodriguez, Erik Kratz and Niese couldn't bring them in.

The Giants broke through for four runs in the third. Jarrett Parker led off with a walk and Connor Gillaspie (which doesn't seem it should be pronounced Gillespie, but everyone does that and it sort of bothers me) singled. Suarez laid down a sacrifice bunt and Niese took care of that pesky empty first base with a walk of Denard Span. Then Joe Panik brought them all home with a triple to center field. Mac Williamson's hot shot got the best of Jung-Ho Kang at third, and Panik scored on the hit.

Williamson added a solo home run in the sixth.

After Niese doubled in the fourth, Suarez and a string of Giants relievers set down 15 Pirates in a row, including four straight 1-2-3 innings.

Most of these pitchers -- Suarez, a 26-year old suddenly pitching OK in his first time in the majors; Hunter Strickland, who I saw pitch a billion times in Altoona; Cory Gearrin, who just kind of showed back up -- made me jealous. Replacement-type pitchers getting the job done while, suddenly, the Pirates' can't. Must be nice.