The West Coast swing continued on Saturday night with Francisco Liriano and Tim Lincecum, two pitchers whose careers seem to be going in opposite directions, squaring off. But tonight, Liriano got himself into an early hole and the Bucs’ bats couldn’t quite get him out of it against The Freak.
The Giants batted around in the bottom of the first and plated four runs. It took Frankie 38 pitches to get through the inning, and he was already over the century mark by the end of the fourth. Needless to say he didn’t have his best stuff, although he did continue his streak of decisions. 20 starts, 20 decisions.
Lincecum had his strikeout pitch working all night, fanning eight Pirates in 5.1 innings. Tony Sanchez was the first to get to him, crushing his first career home run to lead off the fifth. Fortunately for the Bucs, all those strikeouts (plus four walks) drove Lincecum’s pitch count up and they were able to put up two more runs in the sixth. The two Sanchez’ each knocked in a run with singles, but the Pirates ended up leaving the go-ahead run on base.
Jared Hughes and Vin Mazzaro each allowed a run after Liriano exited, giving the Giants a 6-spot on the board. Six Giants relief pitchers combined to close out the Bucs in the final 3.2 innings, but they did have a chance to come back in the seventh. With one out, Jose Tabata picked up his second of three hits on the night. Neil Walker bounced into what should have been an easy 4-6-3 DP, but instead reached safely when Marco Scutaro bobbled twice. That brought up Cutch as the potential tying-run, but unfortunately he smoked a ball right to the right fielder. The Giants went to former-Pirate Javier Lopez to face Pedro Alvarez, who struck out swinging to end the threat. Sergio Romo cleaned up in the ninth, and sent the Bucs back into a tie for first place with the loss.
Cutch was on-deck during the ninth and was spotted using a donut that belonged to the Cubs.
No wonder the Pirates lost tonight. They were using the Cubs’ bat weight pic.twitter.com/lPwMAwRd6K
— Forbes to Federal (@ForbesToFederal) August 25, 2013
Pirates (76-53) – Giants (57-72)
Win: Lincecum (7-13)
Loss: Liriano (14-6)
Save: Romo (31)