Pittsburgh’s quiet bats at the hand of Derek Holland combined with a huge 6th inning for the Giants led to a 0-5 loss in game three of the series.
Nova, who worked around three very loud outs in the first inning, settled in and cruised through five innings, while not allowing a run.
Former Pirate, Gorkys Hernandez led off the top of the 6th and opened the scoring with a solo shot to left center field.
Later in the inning, there were two outs and Brandon Belt on first for Pablo Sandoval at the plate. The Bucs had the shift on when Panda hit a chopper up the middle ticketed for Jordy Mercer’s glove for what would’ve been the third out of the inning. However, before that could happen, Nova stabbed at the chopper and deflected the baseball towards unoccupied territory near the short stop position. There was no play to be made by the time Freese reached the baseball. Runners were safe aboard first and second.
Things escalated quickly from there. Brandon Crawford doubled in a run on a line drive to center, which effectively bounced Nova from the game. Richard Rodriguez came on in relief when Nick Hundley greeted his first pitch with a three run bomb to left field. That concluded San Francisco’s scoring for the inning and the game.
Pirates scattered four doubles throughout the game but had nothing to show for it.
The closest thing the Pirates had to a scoring threat came in the bottom of the 4th. Freese lead off the inning with a single and Rodriguez followed it up with a walk. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Mercer bounced into a 5-4-3 double play, bringing Ivan Nova to the plate. Threat over.
Bucs have the day off tomorrow before facing the White Sox in Pittsburgh for another two-game set. Trevor Williams is slated to start on Tuesday.