From the second through the sixth inning, Madison Bumgarner allowed no runs on a pair of singles - but in that rain delayed first inning, with two outs and no one on, the Pirates exploded for four runs, their only runs of the game, en route to a 4-1 victory.
In that first inning, Starling Marte lined out hard to center and Melky Cabrera grounded to third before Jung-ho Kang drew a walk and Josh Bell grounded a single to right. Then the fun began when Francisco Cervelli ripped a two-run double into the left field corner. He scored two pitches later when Pablo Reyes singled to left and then went to second on the throw, then Reyes scored when J.B. Shuck dropped a soft liner over the glove of shortstop Brandon Crawford.
That was all Jordan Lyles needed, as he threw a “Williams”, allowing no runs in six innings of work only four hits and a walk. Over 17 innings in three starts this year, Lyles has allowed only a single run, and in 17 games the Pirates starting pitchers have a composite 1.97 ERA in 100 1⁄3 innings.
At 86 pitches, Lyles might have gone longer in the game, but the last batter he faced, Joe Panik, hit a line drive back to the mound that glanced off the finger of Lyles’ pitching hand on it’s way to shortstop Erik Gonzalez, positioned behind the bag at second, who turned it into an inning ending double play. It was reported that Lyles suffered a bruise on his hand.
Francisco Liriano came on for the seventh, and after a single and a walk, Kyle Crick came in with two outs and struck out Kevin Pillar to slam shut that inning.
Nick Burdi was called on to pitch the eighth, and after Gerardo Parra opened the inning with a strikeout Yangervis Solarte lifted a fly ball to shallow center field. Shortstop Gonzalez raced out while center fielder raced in. The two met in a violent collision just as the ball reached Marte’s glove, being knocked free for a single. Both defenders remained on the ground for several minutes as medical personnel attended to them. Gonzalez was the first to his feet, walking off with an apparent shoulder injury, as his glove arm got caught between himself and Marte’s upper body. Marte was later helped to his feet and left sitting on a cart after much examination of his chest and abdomen.
After play resumed, Colin Moran came into third base and Kang shifted to short, and Jason Martin went to left field as J.B. Shuck shifted to center.
The Giants got their only run in the inning as when play resumed Burdi walked Steven Duggar and Richard Rodriguez allowed an RBI single to Buster Posey.
That left it to Felipe Vazquez in the ninth, and it didn’t even look fair. Vazquez pounded both sides of the plate with 99 to 100 mph fastballs, throwing 11 of 12 pitches for strikes, as Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria and Tyler Austin were all retired helplessly via strikeout.
The win is the Pirates fifth in the last six games and puts their record at 11-6 in the young season. The series resumes at 4:05 p.m. Saturday as left-hander Derek Holland (1-2, 4.09) is scheduled to take on the Pirates’ Jameson Taillon (0-2, 3.43)