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Pirates go down quietly to Giants 2-0

Carlos Rodon blanks Bucs over eight; Cam Vieaux looks good in debut

San Francisco Giants v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Solo home runs from Luis Gonzalez and Joc Pederson and a strong pitching performance from Carlos Rodon sparked the San Francisco Giants to a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates Friday night at PNC Park.

Rodon limited the Pirates to two hits and two walks while striking out eight over his eight innings of work.

Pirates starter Zach Thompson didn’t fare quite as well and got tagged with the loss.

The Giants wasted little time getting the jump on the Pirates, as Gonzalez sent the third pitch from Thompson over the right field bleachers for a solo home run.

The Giants added another run when Pederson led off the fourth inning with a home run to right center, making it 2-0.

Thompson went 4 1/3 innings and gave up four hits and two runs while walking five and striking out two. He needed 83 pitches to retire 13 batters.

One bright spot for the Pirates came in the fifth when Cam Vieaux made his major league debut at the age of 28.

The left-hander worked 1 1/3 innings, giving up one hit and striking out three in an impressive outing.

Vieaux, a sixth-round pick in the 2016 draft out of Michigan State, spent parts of six seasons – not counting the 2020 pandemic year – in the minor leagues.

Most recently, he’d been pitching at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he went 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA in 18 appearances, all but one of which came in relief.

Vieaux limited hitters to 14 hits and 11 walks in 27 2/3 innings while striking out 23 prior to his promotion.

Vieaux earned a spot on the roster when the Pirates placed outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba on the injured list with a non-displaced fracture of a bone in his right wrist, which he sustained after colliding with Bryan Reynolds in a game Wednesday in St. Louis.

Smith-Njigba was placed on the 60-day injured list retroactive to June 15.

The Pirates also promoted shortstop Liover Peguero – one of the club’s top prospects – to replace Tucapita Marcano, who was placed on the COVID-19 list. Peguero did not get into the game.