Strong days for Andrew McCutchen and Jung Ho Kang led to a 4-3 Pirates win in San Francisco late Tuesday night.
The Pirates grabbed a run in the first, but Jameson Taillon gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning on a couple ground-ball singles and then a double by Buster Posey on an elevated curveball. The Bucs tied it in the second, though, as Francisco Cervelli and John Jaso hit back-to-back doubles.
Fast forward to the sixth. McCutchen (who went 2-for-3 with a walk) led off with a triple and came home on Gregory Polanco's grounder. But the Giants tied it in the bottom half of the inning on a single, a double and a grounder. That inning was the last for Taillon, who finished the evening with five strikeouts and one walk.
The Bucs took the lead again in the eighth, when Kang homered to center. It was Kang's 14th homer of the year, and his third in four games. His prolonged slump finally seems to be over.
The Pirates made it interesting in the ninth, as Jordy Mercer allowed a batter to reach on an error and Tony Watson gave up a one-out double to Joe Panik. But after a bit of confusion between Cervelli and the Pirates' coaching staff regarding signs sent from the dugout, Watson got a pop fly and a grounder to leave runners stranded at second and third.
The win was the Bucs' third straight and eighth in their past 11 games. The Cardinals won but the Marlins lost, so the Pirates join Miami at one game behind St. Louis in the Wild Card race.