The Pirates struck early against Giants’ starter Andrew Suarez (4-8) when Elias Diaz and Josh Bell homered on consecutive pitches in the second inning to make it 3-0.
Suarez would allow seven hits in his five innings pitched, but those would be the only runs on his ledger.
Ivan Nova (7-6) started strong, tossing four no-hit innings before running into trouble in the fifth. Alen Hanson ripped on RBI triple and then scored on a Steven Duggar single to bring the Giants to within one, but Nova completed that inning and the sixth without any more damage. He finished his outing by getting Austin Slater to chase strike three with the tying run on base.
Nova went six innings of three hit ball, walking two and striking out three. It is his first quality start since June 27.
The Pirates’ offense got jump started in the seventh against former Bucco closer Mark Melancon, thanks in large part to San Francisco’s defense. Back-to-back errors to open the inning put the first two runners on, and Adam Frazier and Gregory Polanco picked up RBI on bloop hits to make it 5-2.
Melancon was pulled with two outs in the inning, and David Freese welcomed new pitcher Derek Law by clobbering a three run homer. A Colin Moran RBI single and a Frazier sac fly off Law in the eighth capped the Pirates’ run total at 10.
Casey Sadler- who last appeared in a major league game on Apr. 12, 2015- pitched the ninth, allowing three runs and striking out a batter.
Clay Holmes (1-1, 3.65) will make a spot start Friday, pushing the rest of the Pirates rotation back a day. Derek Holland (5-8, 3.88) will start for San Francisco. First pitch is at 10:05 p.m..
1. Frazier hit three balls with an exit velocity over 95 MPH (101.7 MPH, 101.4 MPH, 97.8 MPH). Since being recalled, 14 of his 35 batted balls in play have been hit at least that hard (40%). Before this most recent stint in the majors, only 31 of his batted balls were hit that hard (26.5%).
2. Freese’s home run was the 100th of his career.
3. It had been 1,215 days since Sadler last pitched in the major leagues. Pirates pitchers threw 87,510 pitches between his appearances.