San Francisco Giants (23-15) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (16-22) - Saturday, May 15, 2021 @ 6:35 p.m.
Stadium: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pa.
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: 93.7 The Fan
SB Nation Giants site: www.mccoveychronicles.com
Giants: Johnny Cueto - RHP - (2-1) – 3.52 ERA - 20 total Ks
Pirates: Tyler Anderson - LHP - (3-3) – 3.05 ERA – 37 total Ks
Probable Starting Lineups (subject to last-minute changes)
1. Austin Slater– CF
2. Darin Ruf – RF
3. Evan Longoria – 3B
4. Wilmer Flores – 1B
5. Brandon Crawford – SS
6. Mauricio Dubon – 2B
7. Curt Casali – C
8. Mike Tauchman – LF
9. Johnny Cueto – P
1. Adam Frazier – 2B
2. Kevin Newman – SS
3. Bryan Reynolds – CF
4. Jacob Stallings – C
5. Gregory Polanco – RF
6. Will Craig – 1B
7. Ben Gamel – LF
8. Erik Gonzalez – 3B
9. Tyler Anderson – P
The Pittsburgh Pirates will look to take a 2-1 lead in their four-game series with the San Francisco Giants when the two teams meet at 6:35 p.m. at PNC Park.
The Bucs evened the set Friday night when they rallied for two runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to take a 3-2 win. It was the Pirates’ first walk-off win of 2021.
The Pirates will aim to make it two in a row when they send former Giant Tyler Anderson out to face his old team. The Giants, meanwhile, will counter with old nemesis Johnny Cueto, who will be making his second start after returning from the injured list.
Cueto, whom Pirates fans well remember from the infamous 2013 Wild Card game, went on the injured list in mid-April after making three starts, and he did not fare well in his return to active duty Sunday.
The Padres touched him for five runs over three innings. He gave up eight hits and a walk while striking out two. Two of his eight hits allowed were home runs.
Cueto has a history of success against the Pirates – the 2013 Wild Card game notwithstanding – as he is 21-4 with a 2.13 ERA in 31 starts over his career. He’s allowed 147 hits in 202 2/3 innings, striking out 182 and walking 54.
Anderson has been impressive thus far and in his most recent outing the veteran left-hander held the Cubs to two runs in eight innings. That was his longest start since he hurled a complete game in late August of last season while pitching for the Giants.
The Pirates’ win Friday came with some late-game heroics. After being stifled by Kevin Gausman through the first eight, the Bucs got to him for two straight singles to start the ninth, prompting Giants manager Gabe Kapler to call on closer Jake McGee. Bryan Reynolds greeted McGee with a base hit to right, scoring Adam Frazier with the tying run.
Pirates rookie reliever Luis Oviedo gave up a run in the 11th on Austin Slater’s RBI single, but the Pirates answered immediately in the bottom of the inning when Frazier – who finished with four hits – tripled home a run to tie the score at 2-2. After Kevin Newman popped out, Giants reliever Caleb Baragar intentionally walked Reynolds and Will Craig to load the bases. Baragar got ahead of Gregory Polanco 1-2, but Polanco delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home the game-winning run.
Although he did not figure in the decision, Pirates rookie starter Miguel Yajure was outstanding, holding the Giants to one hit and a walk over his five innings of work.
In roster news, Jon Heyman of MLB.com reported Friday that the Pirates have signed infielder TJ Rivera to a minor league deal, pending a physical. The 32-year-old right-handed hitter has been in professional baseball since 2011 and last played in the Puerto Rico winter league this past winter, where he batted .302 with an .876 OPS in 53 at-bats. Rivera, a native of the Bronx, spent parts of 2016 and 2017 with the New York Mets, where he hit a combined .304 with a .780 OPS in 319 at-bats over 106 games. He underwent Tommy John surgery in September of 2017 and hasn’t played in a major league game since then.
MINOR MATTERS – All four minor league affiliates posted wins Friday night and all four are playing at least .500 ball. Indianapolis starter James Marvel went 5 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and two earned runs while striking out six in getting a no decision. Catcher Andrew Susac had a pair of hits, including his second homer of the season; he’s hitting .278 so far and could be putting heat on the Bucs’ backup catcher Michael Perez.
At Double-A Altoona, outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba had a home run and a double and drove in four in a 9-7 win. Smith-Njigba, who came over in the Jameson Taillon trade, is hitting .364 with eight RBIs. Shortstop prospect Oneil Cruz committed three errors, two of which came on throws. Starter Max Kranick went five innings and gave up five hits and four earned runs, walking one and striking out four.
At High-A Greensboro, second base prospect Nick Gonzales had two more hits and is now batting .382 on the young season. Michael Burrows, a 21-year-old right-hander, had his second straight strong start. In eight innings on the season, Burrows has struck out 15 batters and has allowed only one hit and one walk.
At Low-A Bradenton, outfield prospect Sammy Siani doubled, homered and drove in three runs to spark an 8-4 win. Siani is hitting just .207 but has homered twice and driven in nine runs in 29 at-bats.