Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen came up big as the Pirates held off the Giants Monday, 8-4.
Ryan Vogelsong had an uneven outing in his return to San Francisco, allowing four runs over 5.2 innings, including one each in the first and third. But the Pirates scored three in the fourth on a series of singles, a bases-loaded walk by Francisco Cervelli, and Polanco's key two-run single. Cervelli reached again in the sixth, and Polanco brought him in with a two-run homer that gave him four RBIs on the night.
Vogelsong gave up solo homers to Eduardo Nunez and Denard Span in the sixth inning, arguably after the point where he should have been removed, and the Giants cut the lead to one. In the seventh, though, McCutchen brought in a run with a Texas-League single, and Starling Marte brought home another with a double. The Giants rallied in the bottom of the inning, putting two men on, but McCutchen ended the threat with a spectacular catch on Nunez's liner, pounding his hand on the grass in celebration.
McCutchen also drove in an insurance run in the eighth, and the Bucs finished out the win even as Tony Watson gave up a run in the ninth.
The Marlins won and the Cardinals didn't play, so the Pirates are now within a game of both teams, at 60-56.