Costly defensive miscues and an anemic offensive attack ended up costing the Pirates Sunday, dropping a 4-3 matinee in San Francisco. The Pirates will have to settle for a series split in the four game set against one of just two sub-.500 teams they will play in August.
The Pirates scored an early run in the second inning on a couple of doubles by Josh Bell and Elias Diaz, but that’s all they could get off rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez (6-1). Rodriguez would not allow another hit or run in his seven innings of work.
Musgrove allowed four runs- three earned- in his six innings on seven hits and a walk, striking out six. The first came in the third on a run scoring triple by Nick Hundley, but Musgrove wriggled out of any further damage by stranding him at third even though there were no outs at the time.
From there, he was blooped and bled to death. Joe Panik gave the Giants the lead in the fourth on a sacrifice fly, and a two out hit off Colin Moran’s glove by Hundley gave them a 3-1 edge.
In the sixth, runner Gorkys Hernandez seemed to be caught stealing second base, but shortstop Jordy Mercer dropped Diaz’s throw, giving the Giants a runner in scoring position. Panik made the Pirates pay by flaring an RBI single to center for what would end up being the deciding run.
The Pirates got two runs in the eighth on a two out double by Starling Marte, but Tony Watson got Gregory Polanco to fly out to end the inning. Will Smith picked up his eighth save of the year by throwing a perfect ninth.
Pittsburgh only put six runners on base all game.
The Pirates have an off-day Monday before playing an abbreviated two game series against the Twins to wrap up the 10 day road trip. Jameson Taillon (9-8, 3.63) will face Jake Odorizzi (4-7, 4.50) 18 8:10 p.m..
1. This is Musgrove’s fourth consecutive quality start.
2. Bell has a four game extra-base hit streak. He’s slashing .286/.348/.667 in his five games since coming off the DL.
3. Mercer is now tied for third among qualified National League shortstops in fielding errors (7). He entered play Sunday with the second fewest defensive runs saved among qualified NL shortstops (-11).